Puppy season is in full swing—which means that unplanned, unwanted, and often uncared-for, litters of puppies are being brought to the Shelter. Puppies arrive in clothes baskets, kennels, and cardboard boxes. Technically, the person surrendering puppies, even strays, should go inside the shelter and fill out paperwork. Most of the time, there is a fee for surrendering a litter, along with some paperwork that is meant to deter multiple drop-offs from owners who neglect to spay or neuter their animals.
However, not all surrenders are done the right way. Puppies are often dropped off at night, left behind the plastic picket fence of the play area where where potential adopters and Shelter dogs get to know each other. Sometimes they are left in old dog crates or big boxes by the front door. About a month, a volunteer found two tiny puppies huddled on top of a trash can full of soda cans and fast-food cartons. Amazingly, the puppies were alive and managed to survive.
Brazen drop-offs occur in the parking lot. On April 12th, according to Dr. Patricia Ryan, the MCAS Shelter director, a pick-up truck pulled up and a young man leaped out and tossed a large cardboard box in front of the door, with many little furry heads and ears sticking out of the top, cruelty jolted when it hit the pavement. The head officer of Animal Control witnessed the event from inside the shelter. He rushed out the door--but the truck had alreay spun out and was fish-tailing down the driveway at an amazing speed!
The box contained 15 beautiful brown and black pups were in that box, their little faces serious, eyes wide and innocent. The officer did get the license plate number, so if the culprit gets pulled over for some other violation, maybe we’ll see some justice. As Dr. Ryan noted, “When this happens, we all look at each other and say, ‘Well...it could have been worse.’ The guy could have dumped them in the water or by the road.” Dr. Ryan added that on that day more than 30 puppies (including the 15 abandoned pups) plus several litters of kittens arrived at the Shelter.
Photo found on Flickr; altered in Photoshop