TEXAS CITY — Police were forced to shoot an injured mule after they found the animal eviscerated in a field.

Officer Randall Johnston, who heads the Texas City Police Department’s animal control division, said police got a call from a driver who saw the injured mule along Loop 197 just west of the county’s animal resource center.

When officers arrived, they found the animal on the ground, Johnston said. It appeared the animal might have gotten caught in a fence and injured itself or was attacked by coyotes, he said.

Johnston called several area veterinarians who all said the best thing to do given the mule’s condition was put the animal down.

When Johnston was unable to reach the animal’s owner, he sought a court order from a judge to kill the mule.

District Court Judge Bret Griffin issued an emergency order.

Eventually, the mule’s owner arrived and didn’t have an issue with what police had to do, especially since he said he didn’t have the money to pay for veterinary care, Johnston said.

The city’s sanitation department hauled off the animal’s body, Johnston said.

A court hearing is scheduled for today in Justice of the Peace Trey Apffel’s court to finalize the emergency seizure order issued by Griffin.

The city may seek restitution from the mule’s owner for the costs of disposal, Johnston said.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

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