A man was caught on a surveillance camera dumping a dog and the Dallas Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying him.

UPDATE 3-11-2023: The Dallas Police Department Animal Cruelty Unit have arrested Ramiro Zuniga, 41, and charged him with Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals – Abandon, an A Misdemeanor charge. An investigation determined that on March 8, Zuniga intentionally abandoned a dog in the 9000 block of Teagarden Road. On March 11, the Dallas Police Department’s Southeast CRT team executed a search warrant on Zuniga’s home, locating the vehicle used in the crime, and Zuniga was taken into custody. Zuniga was taken to the Dallas County Jail.


The incident took place near Dowdy Ferry Road, a southern Dallas street that has become a notorious dumping ground for animals.

As the footage shows, a man driving a late-'90s/early 2000s white Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban SUV pulls off the road, gets out, goes to the rear of the vehicle, and unlocks the tailgate. He fiddles for a second, perhaps disconnecting what turns out to be a tan German shepherd from a tie, then unceremoniously pushes the dog out and onto the ground. The dog sniffs the ground, tail wagging.

The man heads back to the driver door when a neighbor shouts out. "Hey, uh-uh, no! Hey, no. NO." But he gets back in and drives off. The dog chases but to no avail, then stands in the middle of the road, barely avoiding getting hit by a car coming in the other direction.

Abandoning an animal is considered animal cruelty and is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of up to one year in jail and or a fine of up to $4,000.

Police are asking anyone who can help identify the suspect to call the Dallas Police Animal Cruelty Division at 469-504-3394. And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, AKA PETA, has added incentive with a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the suspect's arrest and conviction.

As can be seen in the video, he's wearing a pastel sky-blue short-sleeved jersey and pale blue jeans with a black belt. He has dark hair and is slightly stocky, and looks to be about 5'8". He definitely comes up a few inches shorter than the SUV which is about 6 feet high.

Catching someone in the act is rare, but the area has become so well known for animal dumping that a group called the Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission was formed by neighbors and animal activists, who have installed surveillance cameras to try and foil these cruel criminal acts.

Fortunately, the dog was rescued by commission members including Kema Condor, the neighbor who tried to stop him, and Meagan Probus, who also lives nearby. The two women have intervened on behalf of dozens of dogs that have been dumped in the area.

"My husband Wraith and I saw that video and were throwing on our clothes while the guy was dumping the dog," Probus says. "We got there three minutes after he was gone, and Kema already had him on a leash."

The dog is now in the custody of Dallas Animal Services. The story has already been covered by media in the U.K.

Dowdy Ferry Animal Commission member Jeremy Boss told WFAA that it was an intentional act.

"That was an intentional dump and he did not want to be caught," Boss said. "And he did not want that dog and he made that clear."

"It makes me sick to my stomach when I see people that will take the time to take their dog, drive out here, and throw it out like trash like Dowdy Ferry is known for," he said.


Dallas Zoo scores a new baby elephant and more city news

City News Roundup

This roundup of news around Dallas includes a birth at the Dallas Zoo, two farm-related initiatives, two transportation-related items, and a career event for young women.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Baby elephant
A new elephant was born at the Dallas Zoo to Mlilo, one of the elephants taken from their homeland in Swaziland and imported to three U.S. zoos, one of which was the Dallas Zoo, in 2016. The new elephant is a male and was born on February 26. He was sired by Tendaji, also one of the Swaziland elephants.

In its post announcing the birth, the zoo brags that, for the first time, it was a "herd birth," meaning, they allowed another elephant, Zola — also one of the elephants abducted from Swaziland — to be in the space during the birth "just as would occur in the wild."

One supposes this is a positive step for the zoo, which previously might have quarantined the mother to give birth in an isolated metal cell. But as to their claim, sorry but no: Being an elephant stolen from your homeland, plunked into an artificial environment with only a fraction of the space elephants need to thrive, then trapped in a tiny pen to witness a birth, is absolutely not how things occur in the wild.

This is the second elephant birth at the zoo for Mlilo, who sadly was already pregnant when she was taken from Swaziland; she gave birth to Ajabu in 2018. (A birth that the zoo claimed was a "surprise".) Baby animals are a welcome addition for zoos. They represent a major financial boost, since they increase turnout.

Urban life and food
The Dallas City Council adopted the Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Plan (CUAP), to ensure that all communities have access to healthy, local food. Goals include removing regulatory barriers, supporting access to farmlands, and providing access to urban agricultural education and resources. The plan is designed to address the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) which the city adopted in May 2020, to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. "By 2050, it is projected that 89 percent of the U.S. population and 68 percent of the world population will live in urban areas,” says Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability Director Carlos Evans. “The CUAP is an important step towards ensuring that all of our communities have access to healthy local food.”

Farm conservation
Samuell Farm has been selected as a 2023 Spotlight by the Leave No Trace organization. As a Spotlight recipient, the 400-acre Samuel Farm - owned and operated by the Dallas Park and Recreation Department - will be the site of conservation activities March 16-18 to help communities learn how to enjoy and protect the outdoors. That includes a Youth Conservation Day on March 17, when more than 400 Dallas youth will participate in conservation projects such as mulching and making butterfly feeders, taught by Leave No Trace and other area organizations.

More freeway
The Texas Department of Transportation is hosting two opportunities for the public to learn more about a proposed widening plan on State Highway 114 (SH 114) in Dallas and Tarrant counties. The project would stretch along seven miles of SH 114 from International Parkway to Riverside Drive in the cities of Irving and Grapevine. Improvements would include segments of widening, constructing new or reconstructing existing managed lanes, reconstructing some frontage roads and also accommodations for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. An in-person open house is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Irving Convention Center, accompanied by an online option that begins at the same time and runs through Wednesday March 29.

New DART bus
Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) first long-range electric bus has begun regular service, operating on Bus Route 20, an east-west bus that runs on Northwest Highway, from Bachman Lake on the west to Garland in the east. It's a 40-foot Proterra ZX5 Max, with a range of almost 300 miles from six lithium-ion battery packs (four mounted under the bus, two on the roof). Inside, it has USB ports to charge mobile devices and two customer information monitors. The bus joins seven Proterra Catalyst 35 zero-emission electric buses, currently in service on DART Bus Route 28.

Young female leaders
Texas Women’s Foundation and the Dallas Mavericks W.O.M.E.N. ERG held a joint event with the Young Women’s Advisory Council in February to share career advice and network with young female leaders. The Young Women’s Advisory Council is a program of the Young Women’s Initiative to empower and affirm young women of color ages 12-24.

Photo courtesy of DART

New jobs and scholarships elevate this round of Dallas news

City News Roundup

This roundup of Dallas news includes a shakeup in sanitation, a new job fair at DART, a new inclusive arts program, and a new scholarship program from Sephora. Also, Texas is #1 in a dubious list.

Here's what's happening around Dallas this week:

Sanitation blues
The director of Dallas' Sanitation department, Jay Council, has left his job after three months. Cliff Gillespie has been appointed as interim head. No reason was given. The role is responsible for executive oversight and administration of the city's solid waste collection and disposal utility system, which has had some bumps in recent months, with a disruptive change in schedule that left many residents with trash not picked up in a timely manner.

DART open house
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will begin hosting a monthly career fair on Saturday, February 25, from 10 am-2 pm at DART Headquarters, at 1401 Pacific Ave. The agency is seeking applicants for open positions in transit operations (bus and rail operators and mechanics), administrative fields (including engineering, finance, technology, and human resources), and the DART Police department. DART bus operators get a starting pay of $23.08/hour, and if applicants live outside Dallas, they're eligible for a relocation stipend of $1,500, paid after their first pay period. DART Police and Fare Enforcement Officers.

Equitable arts opps
The Creative Arts Center of Dallas, located on a two-acre campus four miles east of downtown Dallas at 2360 Laughlin Dr., is a safe haven for artists to explore creative avenues. They also provide outreach to underserved and children and teens. They've launched a new residency program, “Equitable Artist Residency,” which features an array of artists with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Dallas-based Latino artist Benjamin Muñoz is the first resident and his exhibition “Influenced” is on view until Friday, March 31.

Sephora scholarships
Applications are open for the annual Sephora Scholarship program, created to empower and support diverse students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area pursuing a licensed career in beauty through professional training and education. As a release notes, BIPOC professionals hold only 36 percent of professional beauty service roles. Licensure allows for greater opportunities, but tuition costs can be a barrier for BIPOC communities. Sephora provides each scholar with up to $7,500 for tuition. The six-month program provides participants with:

  • $7,500 in tuition for cosmetology and esthetician school
  • A paid internship at Sephora
  • Firsthand industry experience
  • Mentorship and access to open roles following graduation

Applications close on March 12. The 2023 program will run from April through September.

Texas is #1
Texas came in first on a list of the top 15 states for animal abuse in 2021, according to a mildly trolly study by Veterinarians.org. (Don't click on their site if you don't like insistent pop-ups.) Their list of states with the most animal abuse offenses was compiled from data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Incident-Based Reporting System. Texas was #1 with 2,952 animal cruelty offenses - more than double the #2 state on the list, Delaware, which had 1,280 offenses. Virginia was #3, followed by Georgia, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oregon. They estimate that every year, 10 million animals die from abuse in just the U.S.


Head of Dallas-based animal nonprofit SPCA of Texas steps down immediately

Animal News

There's been a shakeup at the SPCA of Texas. According to a release, President and CEO Karen Froehlich has stepped down from her post, effective immediately.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank Karen for her contributions to the SPCA of Texas,” says Hiren Patel, Chair of the SPCA of Texas Board of Directors, in a statement. “We respect Karen’s decision and thank her for her seven years of service to our organization. She is passionate about protecting and caring for vulnerable animals, and we’re certain she will continue that good work into the future.”

Froehlich had been president and CEO since 2019, first appointed on an interim basis to replace previous president/CEO James Bias, who also left the position abruptly, funny how that goes.

The Board of Directors has named Don Lindsley, SPCA of Texas VP of Finance, as interim President and CEO. He joined the SPCA of Texas in July 2013 and has been responsible for finance, risk management, facilities, and information technology.

Meanwhile, the board will conduct an executive search to replace Froehlich.

“We will seek a talented and respected individual with both passion for animal welfare and demonstrated leadership in managing a nonprofit similar in scale and scope to our organization,” Patel says. “While the board is motivated to fill this critical role, we are committed to a thorough and transparent process to find an exceptional candidate who is best suited to support and amplify the mission of SPCA of Texas.”

In 2022, the SPCA of Texas cared for more than 6,000 animals, found homes for 3,100 dogs and cats through adoption, and transferred more than 2,000 animals to shelters across the country.

Last year, the nonprofit’s animal cruelty investigations unit saved more than 1,300 animals from dangerous or abusive situations.

However, the agency has received negative attention since it withdrew from its agreement to support the Dallas Police Department's animal cruelty unit in September 2022.

Photo courtesy of PCF

More than 40 candidates file to run for 2023 Dallas City Council election

Election News

The next election for Dallas City Council election is May 6, and 43 candidates have filed to run for office.

Two representatives - Adam McGough and Casey Thomas - have reached the end of their term limit, leaving those districts open to a new council member. One council member, Cara Mendelsohn, is running uncontested, as well as Mayor Eric Johnson.

All 14 council districts will be on the ballot for two-year terms.

Place 1 - Oak Cliff

  • Chad West - incumbent
  • Mariana Griggs - teacher, neighborhood activist, ex-wife of former council member Scott Griggs
  • Albert Mata - former telecom engineer, Hispanic advocate

Place 2 - Deep Ellum, Love Field, Casa View

Place 3 - Southwest Dallas, vacant seat left by Casey Thomas

  • Zarin Gracey - director of the Office of Business Diversity for city of Dallas
  • Joe Tave - radio host and return candidate who ran in 2017
  • August Doyle - previously worked for city of Dallas in code, public works, and recycling, and DISD teacher
  • Denise Benavides - former president of LULAC Grand Prairie who has a nonprofit, ran in 2019
  • John Sims - entrepreneur, owner of a podcast/radio studio in Oak Cliff

Place 4 - South Dallas

Place 5 - Far southeast Dallas

Place 6 - West Dallas

Place 7 - Far east Dallas, Just south of I-30

Place 8 - Far southeast Dallas

  • Tennell Atkins - incumbent
  • Subrina Brenham - income tax professional and return candidate who ran in 2021
  • Davante Peters - community organizer, return candidate who ran in 2021 and 2019 (in District 3)

Place 9 - Northeast Dallas, Lakewood

Place 10 - Northeast Dallas, Lake Highlands, vacant seat left by Adam McGough

Place 11 - North Dallas/central

Place 12 - Far North Dallas

Place 13 - North/northwest Dallas

Place 14 - Oak Lawn, Greenville Avenue, downtown Dallas

  • Paul Ridley - incumbent
  • Amanda Schulz - AKA Amanda Tenpenny Schulz, former Parks Board appointed by David Blewett (who lost to Paul Ridley)
  • Joseph Miller - retired engineer

Place 15 (Mayor) - City of Dallas

  • Eric Johnson - incumbent

The candidate filings are here. Candidates who ran in 2021 are here, and candidates who ran in 2019 are here.

Photo courtesy of VishwaGujarat.com

Dallas Morning News scales down Spanish newspaper and more city news

City News Roundup

This roundup of news around Dallas includes newspaper news, protest news, and St. Patrick's Day news. There's also a new program that helps low-income seniors fix up their house.

Here's what's happening around Dallas this week:

Al Dia disbanding
After 19 years, The Dallas Morning News has disbanded the staff of Al Día, its Spanish-language newspaper, assigning them to other roles at the newspaper effective March 1. According to a post on the Dallas News Guild union website, the team’s five full-time journalists were told they were being reassigned, with the rationale being stats that said the number of people speaking primarily Spanish in Texas is dropping. Moving forward, DMN stories will be translated into Spanish for Al Dia.

Senior home repair
The Dallas City Council approved funding for the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization’s Senior Home Repair Program. The program offers approved applicants up to $10,000 in grant funds aimed at home repairs improving accessibility within the home, increasing safety and efficiency. Residents must be 65 years or older, at or below 80 percent area median income (AMI) and in need of repairs at their primary residence. Residents may apply starting February 1 by downloading an application online or picking one up at the Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization office in City Hall. Residents need to show proof of household income, Identity, age, proof of primary homeowner occupancy, and proof of ownership. The deadline is March 3, and residents may drop off their application at the Housing office in City Hall or any library or recreation center. For assistance, call 214-670-3644 or visit their offices at City Hall.

Shriners protest
On February 9, PETA supporters rallied outside the Shriners International Membership & Marketing Conference and Masters Class, held at Embassy Suites in Grapevine, urging Shriners International to ditch circus cruelty and modernize their shows by making them animal-free. It was risky: Protesters were previously assaulted by Shriners at a similar action in St. Louis in December.

Shrine circuses are among the last remaining shows that still use wild animals, who are confined to small crates, kept in shackles, and deprived of any semblance of a natural or happy life. Shriners routinely do business with cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video attacking elephants with bullhooks.

St Paddy's Day run
The St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5K, which has kicked off the St. Paddy's Day Parade festivities for nearly three decades, is introducing a new course. Participants will have a chance to walk, jog, run, and dance on the parade route for the first time ever. Registration is now open for the event, which is a part of the Run Project race series. The St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5K is one of nine races held by the Run Project across North Texas.

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Texas Ballet Theater's new season has bite with Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, and more

Season announcement

Texas Ballet Theater's 2023-2024 season will include four separate productions, including a couple of returning favorites. Performances will take place across three venues across Dallas and Fort Worth.

The season will kick off in September with Dracula, which was a hit when it was last performed by the company in 2015. The production will run at Winspear Opera House in Dallas, September 15-17, before moving to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, October 6-8.

Choreographed by TBT artistic director laureate Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., in 1997, the first production of Dracula featured TBT’s acting artistic director, Tim O’Keefe, in the title role.

“Having the opportunity to present Dracula is a full circle moment for TBT,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “Many of our artistic and production staff worked on the world premiere 25 years ago, myself included. I’m looking forward to working on this ballet with Ben [Stevenson] again and sharing it with our audiences, who have been eager to see it again.”

Next up will be TBT's annual holiday production of Stevenson’s The Nutcracker. The company will perform the family-friendly ballet November 24-December 3 at Winspear Opera House and December 8-24 at Bass Performance Hall. Unlike the previous 12 seasons, there will be no presentation of The Nutty Nutcracker this year.

A mixed repertoire production called "Brilliants" will be the first production of 2024, featuring four short ballets in one program. Featured ballets include Rubies, choreographed by George Balanchine; Grand Pas Classique, choreographed by Victor Gsovsky; Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev, and Without Borders, choreographed by Val Caniparoli.

"Brilliants" will run February 23-25, 2024, at Bass Performance Hall and March 1-3, 2024, at Wyly Theatre in Dallas.

The season will come to a close with Beauty and the Beast, last staged by TBT in 2017. Choreographed by Lew Christensen, the production will run May 3-5, 2024, at Winspear Opera House and May 17-19, 2024, at Bass Performance Hall.

Season packages, which start at $48, are now on sale. Those interested can purchase a package at texasballettheater.org/season-packages or by contacting the Box Office at 877-828-9200 option 1.

One Old Navy store in Dallas to hide gifts in pockets of spring dresses

Pockets News

A national retailer is giving women exactly what they want: pockets.

Old Navy, the clothing and accessories company owned by The Gap, is hosting an event at five stores across the U.S. including a Dallas store at The Shops at Park Lane.

The chain is inviting customers to join their celebration of dresses with pockets at five of its top-selling locations, where shoppers can find tokens worth $20 hidden in pockets of their new spring dresses.

This event will take place on April 1 at these five locations:

  • Dallas: 8170 Park Ln. #124
  • New York: 150 W 34th St
  • New York: 610 Avenue of the Americas
  • Roseville, California: 1244 Galleria Blvd.
  • Jacksonville, Florida: 10261 River Marsh Dr.

A spokesperson did not reveal how many $20 tokens would be at the store.

Old Navy is so down with pockets that it is doubling its inventory of dresses with pockets in its Spring 2023 line.

Pockets are actually a political thing, tied to women’s independence, and have countlessmemesdedicated to their liberating effect.

Centuries ago, men were in charge of holding money, documents, and keys, and got pockets. According to London's Victoria and Albert Museum, women didn't merit pockets because they did not have their own money to put in them.

The London Spectator demeaningly reported that "women had four external bulges already – two breasts and two hips – and a money pocket inside their dress would make an ungainly 5th."

It wasn't much better in the 20th century, when fashion designer Christian Dior allegedly stated that "men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration."

"If a 20th century woman wanted to bring anything with her, the only option was to carry a bag," notes CTV News.

To prop up its pocket initiative, Old Navy conducted a survey in February 2023 and found:

  • Over 50 percent of women say their favorite dresses have pockets.
  • 73 percent say pockets are an important haven for their hands, for warmth, or as a place for them in awkward situations.
  • 71 percent say discovering that a new frock has pockets is an instant mood booster.
  • 88 percent say they love the surprise of finding something they forgot about in a pocket.

Another survey conducted in 2018 found that women's pockets are nearly 50 percent smaller than men's pockets — a size difference that "perpetuates and reinforces gender inequality and is a manifestation of patriarchy," said Chair of Ryerson School of Fashion Ben Barry in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

U.S. website The Pudding measured the pockets on 80 pairs of men's and women's jeans with the same waist size and found that women's front jean pockets are 48 percent shorter and 6.5 percent narrower than men's.

Only 40 percent of women's front pockets were able to fit the iPhone X, 20 percent a Samsung Galaxy, and 5 percent the Google Pixel. Less than half of women's front pockets would fit a wallet specifically designed for front pockets.

And while 100 percent of men's pockets could handle the average male hand, only 10 percent of women's could fit a woman's hand.

Old Navy to the rescue, who've created an entire website for their pocket-clad dress styles at www.oldnavy.com/pockets.

Legendary songstresses Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle join forces for Dallas-Fort Worth show

Midnight Train

It may be hard to nail down what gives someone “soul,” but two iconic performers are taking that je ne sais quoi on tour. Gladys Knight (“Midnight Train To Georgia”) and Patti LaBelle (“Lady Marmalade”) are joining forces for a summer tour that breezes through Dallas-Fort Worth.

They'll take the stage together at Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie on Sunday, June 18.

Both women came up as frontwomen of groups — Knight with her family as Gladys Knight & the Pips, and LaBelle with girl group Labelle. Knight stayed more in the realm of soul and R&B, while LaBelle crossed over to a more rock sphere. Both have won numerous awards and are considered pioneers in the genre.

Knight and LaBelle are the same age, but after decades of friendship spanning the majority of their lives, the former calls the latter her “little sister.”

The pair famously first appeared together in the 1986 HBO special Sisters in the Name of Love, and have been seen as a pair many times since, including when LaBelle bestowed Knight with her Kennedy Center honors in 2022, and even facing off in a Verzuz battle (a webcast stream in which the two artists chatted and took turns singing karaoke to their own tracks).

The duo will be hard to catch elsewhere, as both are on separate tours that only sometimes converge. In Texas, LaBelle will perform at San Antonio’s Majestic Theater on June 17, before she's joined by Knight the following day in Grand Prairie. They'll then travel to Austin, where they'll play a show together at the Bass Concert Hall on June 19. Knight’s independent tour schedule does not show any Texas dates.

Tickets for the Dallas-Fort Worth performance are available through AXS.com.