Frank Shamrock: Abandoning dog at airport 'was wrong, but there was no way out of it'

Former UFC champion Frank Shamrock says he did “everything humanly possible” to find his mom’s dog a home and that he didn’t mean any harm before abandoning it at the airport.

Earlier this week, WFAA-TV in Dallas reported that Shamrock, the UFC’s inaugural light heavyweight champion more than 20 years ago, was under investigation by police for animal cruelty after he tied up one of his mother’s dogs, Zelda, in the back of a pickup truck at Dallas’ Love Field airport and left it there for five days. Shamrock left food and water for Zelda in the truck, then got on a plane to return to his home in California.

In an interview with TMZ posted Saturday, Shamrock explained how the situation isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. Shamrock said he went to Texas to tend to his ailing mother. As he realized that he needed to move his mom out, Shamrock also realized she was in no condition to own dogs anymore and convinced her that she needed to give them up. One dog found a new home after he listed them on Facebook, but nobody took Zelda, Shamrock said.

Shamrock said he started calling around, including three Dallas-area shelters, but to no avail. He said his search lasted right up until he and his mom boarded their flight.

“It came down to the final minutes, and there’s nothing I could do for the dog, so I tied her to the back of the truck, gave her food and water, laid all the paperwork out so everyone would know who this was and what was going on, and then I called up (airport) security,” Shamrock said. “I said, ‘There’s a dog in a truck. I’ll tell you exactly where (she’s) at, and I want you to go check on (her). The dog’s in trouble.’ And I left.”

Zelda ended up being stranded at the airport and tethered to the truck for five days. Shamrock was in disbelief by that, considering he’d called airport security. He said he should’ve called police instead.

“I would’ve never imagined myself in that position, having to make a decision like that. I love animals,” Shamrock said. “It just broke my heart to even think about being in that position, but that’s where I ended up. Obviously, I did everything humanly possible for that animal. And that’s what happened.

“I don’t know why they didn’t take (her) out of the truck for five days; that makes no sense to me. Why would you leave an animal in a truck for five days? But I put him there, so I take responsibility for what happened. But it wasn’t through malice or because I was trying to hurt anything.”

Shamrock said that, because Zelda is chipped, he received an email that Zelda was OK. TMZ confirmed through a spokesperson at the SPCA of Texas that Zelda is doing well and is expected to be put up for adoption in the coming days.

“I hope nobody has to go through what I just did,” Shamrock said. “I hope nobody has to make the decision that I did. And if they do, I hope they stand up for it and say, ‘Hey, that’s what I did.’ I know what I did was wrong, but there was no way out of it. I had no other solution to solve that problem.”

Shamrock, 47, is coming up on the 10-year anniversary next month of his final MMA fight, a knockout loss to Nick Diaz in the now-defunct Strikeforce. Prior to that, he lost Strikeforce’s middleweight title when Cung Le broke Shamrock’s arm in a TKO win to take the belt.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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