December 11, 2023

Former Dallas Cowboy player Dwayne Anthony Missouri was arrested on Sunday after allegedly abandoning a puppy in a storage unit for two days in the sweltering Texas heat.

Missouri, 44, was charged on Sunday with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a class A misdemeanor, in Helotes, located 20 miles northwest of San Antonio.

In June, officers from the Helotes Police Department responded to reports of a dog barking inside a storage unit of a Storage Mart. The officers found a small puppy inside the hot unit with two empty food bowls and a desk with a bag of dog food, San Antonio news station KSAT reported.

Police noted the temperature that day was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and that roughly 60 percent of the storage unit was full of clothes and shoes. One pair of shoes had urine and fecal matter on it.

Helotes Animal Control took possession of the puppy, according to the affidavit, as investigators reviewed surveillance footage as well as documented entry logs from Storage Mart.

The surveillance footage along with the log showed Missouri brought the dog to the storage unit on June 18 and did not return until June 25. On June 20, Missouri left a voicemail with Storage Mart, saying he left the dog in the care of someone else and they left the dog in the unit, contradicting the surveillance footage.

Summer months are the most dangerous for pets, according to the Humane Society. The organization warns pet owners against leaving a pet inside a parked car or in an enclosed space as it could cause the animal to experience heatstroke or even die.

“On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels,” the Humane Society states. “On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

“Extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke and animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease.”

Missouri, a defensive end from San Antonio, previously signed with the Dallas Cowboys in October 2001 where he played in two games during the 2001-02 season and did not register any statistics. He also previously played in the Arena Football League.

The ex-NFL player’s bail was set at $2,000, KSAT reported.

Newsweek reached out to Helotes Police and the local Texas Humane Society via email for comment.

Abandoned Puppy
Shelter workers care for puppies at an animal shelter following Hurricane Ike on September 17, 2008, in Galveston, Texas. An ex-NFL player was arrested on October 1, 2023, after leaving a puppy in a Texas storage unit in June.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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