Of all the things that do not belong in self-storage, man’s best friend is definitely one of them. But in Corpus Christi, TX, one man thought it was fine to keep more than half a dozen puppies locked away in a dark storage unit without food or water.
All of those puppies now have new homes, thanks to the facility manager who reported the act of animal cruelty to police. That decision almost cost the manager his life, though.
It all started when the manager of Available Self Storage at 9337 South Padre Island Drive discovered seven dogs inside a tenant’s storage unit. The manager called the police Jan. 14, and animal control officers later took the dogs away.
When the tenant, Huyen Nguyen, learned that the manager had called the police, the situation escalated out of control. Inside the facility’s office on Jan. 15, Nguyen attacked the manager, police said. Another employee reported walking in to find Nguyen kicking the manager repeatedly in the head. The employee then punched Nguyen in the head, causing the tenant to fall to the floor, police said. Nguyen tried again to attack the manager, but this time the employee put him in a wrestling-style hold and tossed him out the front door, according to authorities.
Cops responded after a manager at Available Self Storage was assaulted.
It didn’t end there. Nguyen rushed to his truck and retrieved a semi-automatic handgun. The employee held the door shut while Nguyen banged on the glass with the butt of the gun several times, police said. The glass cracked, but Nguyen couldn’t break through. Other tenants witnessed the fracas and called the police. Unable to get through the door, Nguyen returned to his truck and took off.
The manager was left bruised and bloodied. Before being taken to a hospital, he directed cops to the tenant’s file, which remained on the office counter. Police used that information to track down Nguyen, who was arrested a few days later in Corpus Christi. Nguyen now faces a felony charge of second-degree assault.
Dogs Get New Homes
As for the seven puppies, they’ve all been adopted, according to Cheryl Martinez, president of People Assisting Animal Control. The nonprofit supports Corpus Christi Animal Care Services by helping with adoptions and fundraising.
Martinez said the group didn’t have any problem finding homes for the puppies. Five of the dogs appear to belong to the Havanese breed; there also was a pair of Jack Russell terrier puppies.
One of the seven puppies rescued from a storage unit in Corpus Christi, TX.
“When they were on the adoption floor, there were several applications on them right away,” Martinez said.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Martinez has encountered puppies that were kept inside storage units.
“It seems like an easy way to keep the animals until they are sold. I believe it is rarely reported, since I have only seen it twice in all the years I have been doing this,” Martinez said. The first time was just a few months ago.
The Tale of Tucker Roo
Tucker Roo, a 2-month-old Jack Russell terrier, was the last to be adopted. He now is with a loving family, including two little boys, according to temporary foster mom Kelley LeVrier.
Tucker Roo was the last of the seven puppies to be adopted.
“This little guy, even though he was found in a storage unit—then had to be kept in quarantine at animal control, then to my home as a foster, then finally to his forever home—dealt with it all extremely well,” LeVrier said.
LeVrier said Tucker Roo showed no signs of abuse, and she had no problems potty training him. While in the care of animal control, Tucker Roo was neutered, micro-chipped and vaccinated.
People Assisting Animal Control is seeking donations to build a spay-and-neuter clinic to reduce the local population of unwanted dogs and cats in Corpus Christi.
“Our goal is 10,000 surgeries per year. Once we achieve that goal, we should see a decline of intake at our local shelters, therefore resulting in a decline in euthanasia,” Martinez said.
Potential donors can contact People Assisting Animal Control on Facebook.