The number of pet deaths nationwide rose in August to 3,828, a 22% increase from the same month last year.
Pet owners have been asking for help in finding the animals that have been killed, and in some cases their pleas have been answered.
On Aug. 12, a Houston man and his wife were driving home from work when they noticed a pile of dogs on their pickup truck.
The couple drove to a nearby slaughterhouse and rescued the animals.
A month later, the couple took the animals to the shelter.
It was a case of luck, they said.
On the way to the slaughterhouse, they spotted the two cats that had been dumped there.
Both were euthanized.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) reports there were about 1,400 pet dogs killed in Texas in 2016, up from 1,000 in 2015.
It is not clear if the increase is because more owners are trying to find and adopt a new pet, or if the dogs are euthanizing to avoid being killed themselves.
“There is always the risk of the animals getting hit by vehicles, or falling into the hands of someone who doesn’t care,” said TDA spokesman Mike Tiller.
The TDA is investigating all of the reported pet deaths, and hopes to make a decision on euthanasia in the coming weeks.
“In the coming days, we’ll look at all of those cases,” Tiller said.
A similar case in Texas involved a man who took two stray dogs from his neighbor’s yard and took them to a slaughterhouse.
They died in the process.
There were no reported pet owners who helped him.
The neighbor said he would be more than happy to see the two stray cats, but he didn’t have enough money to pay the cost of their cremation.
“We are in a terrible situation,” he said.
“This is my neighbor, I want to keep him as a pet.”