Former Ultimate Fighting Championship champion Frank Shamrock is under investigation for animal cruelty, according to Dallas television outlet WFAA.
For his part, Shamrock initially did not deny any of the allegations. In a telephone interview with Dallas television outlet WFAA, he said, “They can charge me with whatever. I will show up. It is what it is. I'm not hiding in any way. It's an unfortunate and terrible thing. I'm an animal lover and I ran away crying.”
The longtime California resident claims that he had only been in Dallas to help his ailing mother move out of her home, and had tried to find someone to take in the dog. In a public Facebook post on March 2, Shamrock wrote, “Need help. Can anyone take a dog today in Dallas, Texas? My mom has to give her dogs away as she can't care for them anymore.”
Shamrock claims his mother had two dogs, one of which he was able to place in another home, but maintains that he was unable to do so for Zelda. “It's an old dog -- no one wants a six-and-a-half, seven-year-old dog,” Shamrock said. He tied the dog up, left some food and water and returned to California.
According to the WFAA report, Dallas animal control now has custody of the dog, whose future is uncertain, and Dallas police are considering filing charges against the former MMA star. Shamrock stated that if charged, he would return to Texas to face those charges.
On Thursday evening, Shamrock appeared to change his tune on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
This is #fakenews. @abcnews Edited to create a story. Very sad. Rebecca Lopez you should be ashamed of yourself, I am not being investigated and only took the call to help bring #awareness to #animalcruelty and #elderabuse. Funny how you don’t report the All the facts - just the names that create headlines. #sharelovenothate #checkfacts #speakthetruth
Shamrock (23-10-2) is one of the pioneers of the sport, having debuted in Pancrase in 1994, and is considered by many to be the prototypical well-rounded mixed martial artist. He defeated Kevin Jackson at UFC 15.5 in 1997 to become the UFC’s inaugural middleweight (200 pound) champion and went on to win titles in World Extreme Cagefighting and Strikeforce before transitioning to a career as a fight commentator. His last professional fight was a second-round TKO loss to Nick Diaz at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz in April 2009.