It’s a horrifying mystery in the Dallas area: Who is dumping the bodies of hundreds of animals, and even a person, along Dowdy Ferry Road? We’ve also learned these illegal dumpers are now branching out, the plague of discarded bodies is spreading beyond the infamous road.
Dallas resident Jeremy Boss spent the last two years collecting, counting and crying over the bodies of dogs, cats, goats, cows, horses, roosters and other birds he’s found along this stretch of road in South Dallas.
In Spring of 2016, while Boss and his volunteer crew were out looking for more dead animals, they made a horrifying discovery: The body of a woman, Marisol Espinosa, who had been reported missing months earlier. Boss tells us the dumping he’s uncovered is unbelievable and it feels like never ends, “Psychologically it takes a toll on you. I’ve never been the same since,” said Boss.
Boss has become a voice for those dumped along Dowdy Ferry Road. A crusader is more like it. He is now using “Facebook Live” as a medium to show social media watchers what he finds dumped, in real time, right from his smartphone. This video shows Boss uncovering dead animals "live" on Facebook. (Graphic video and language.) There's more videos showing the horrors he's uncovered.
The viewers and the carnage are adding up. Boss says sometimes 800,000 people watch his videos, and so far, he’s found the bodies of 223 dogs in a three-mile area along Dowdy Ferry Road. “It’s been exasperating and exhausting,” Boss said.
Pictures of Jeremy Boss with his team and dogs saved.
This champion for those so carelessly discarded has taken his fight to catch the dumpers not only to social media, but to the Dallas area media and city officials.
The local media has covered it. The city says it’s trying.
Monica Cordova, spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department, tells Watchdog Mary that the Dallas Marshals continue to actively patrol and investigate illegal dumping and environmental crimes along Dowdy Ferry Road. In the last two years, six people were arrested in the Dowdy Ferry area for illegally dumping dead animals and three other people were arrested in other parts of the city. So far, in 2017 there have been no arrests.
Both Boss and the city have installed cameras in the area. But Cordova warns, “The use of technology continues to provide valuable tools; however, the greatest need is for citizens to report suspicious activity and provide law enforcement with timely offense and suspect information.”
Problem is, Boss says, now the Dowdy dumpers are catching on. They’re now dumping dogs in other, less patrolled areas near Dowdy Ferry Road. Just last week he found the bodies of 14 dogs dumped in Bisbee Park and more animals dumped near Lemon Lake. "It’s messed up. I don’t get chills very often, I don’t get scared often, I was feeling uneasy,” Boss said.
Boss warns more needs to be done. He's horrified about the new dumping he’s finding, “I’m getting tired of opening bags and nothing is being done. I put out cameras and I’m putting out more.”
Who is dumping these dogs? Boss has many theories, he said, “Dog fighting was involved for sure in some of these cases. I’d see dogs thrashed and ripped up. You could tell they were bait dogs. Same way with some of the goats. I’d hear they’d hang the goats up by a tree and let them swing around so the dogs could get at them. I found goats like that.”
Boss paid to have necropsies performed, which are the equivalent of animal autopsies, on two of the dogs. He says the vet believes they both died from a lethal injection to the heart, which left him even more puzzled. He wonders, “Could it be companies who pick up dead dogs from vets and they are pocketing the money? Maybe backyard breeders?” Boss said.
He and his team have found some dogs dumped while they were just barely alive, like the appropriately named “Dowdy.” He was emaciated, sick, needed blood transfusions, antibiotics and heart worm treatment. It took thousands of dollars for vets to help nurse Dowdy back to life.
This dog, Zeus, is also one of the rare survivors found along Dowdy Ferry Road.
Last year Boss and volunteers placed 92 crosses in the area where they found dogs along Dowdy Ferry Road. Boss says he plans on doing this again in April. “Our placing of the crosses is our moment to lay these dog’s souls to rest and to let them know they did have people who cared about them," Boss said.
Boss is also raising money to put up more cameras and started this online fundraiser. He warns, “If the city won’t police it, I will. I’m going to catch some of these SOB’s. I’m going to bring all the faces I catch to the police. If they don’t do anything I’m going to post them on social media.”
City officials say if you know anything about the dumping they need to hear from you. The Dallas Marshal’s Office partnered with the North Texas Crime Stoppers to assist with tips identifying offenders related to illegal dumping and criminal offenses involving animals. Citizens are encouraged to contact the North Texas Crime Stoppers at 1-877-373-TIPS (8477). NTCS will pay up to $1500 for information leading to an arrest and callers will remain anonymous.
For more on the dumping along Dowdy Ferry Road, Watchdog Mary and Jeremy Boss will be guests on the "Voices Carry for Animals" radio show, Tuesday night February 28th from 8pm ET to 9pm ET. City of Dallas officials have also been invited to call in, there's no word yet if they will participate.
UPDATE March 1, 2017: You can listen to a podcast of the show online by clicking here, music plays for the first minute then the program starts.