A Facebook post Tuesday by the Cass County Humane Society set off a flurry of social media activity and questions about why a number of puppies were dumped near its animal shelter on the west side.
In all, five pit bull-mix puppies have been found in the woods near the Humane Society’s shelter since Monday. Two city employees discovered two of the puppies on Monday. On Tuesday, employees and animal control officers found two more dumped in the same area. On Wednesday morning, a fifth was found as the search continued for any more abandoned puppies near the facility.
It was a particularly bad time for the puppies to be abandoned, with low temperatures near freezing and scattered rain showers over the past few days.
As of Wednesday morning, the Facebook post had been shared over 670 times and garnered nearly 300 comments and nearly a thousand reactions.
The puppies are about six weeks old and were presumably dumped in the woods by an unknown perpetrator.
“We haven’t found a mom, so we’re assuming they were dumped,” said Cass County Humane Society executive director Amanda Lane on Tuesday. “[Animal Control and Cass County Humane Society employees] went back pretty far, so hopefully that’s all of them. We’ll probably walk back again and check before we close and walk back again in the morning.”
The shelter has a camera that faces the direction of the woods, but the camera cannot pick up activity in the woods at the end of their property.
The puppies appear to be in good health, but are not currently available for adoption. According to Lane, a couple of the puppies were experiencing some skin issues, but that is common since they were left outside.
Around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Humane Society posted the following on its Facebook page: “Please, people, do not do this! These helpless puppies do not deserve to be treated this way. We have gotten zero calls about people wanting to surrender pups! So whoever did this, made no attempt to do anything to help them survive or be cared for. Completely heartless is what this is, you should be ashamed! These babies are now warm, fed, and being snuggled.”
Lane said that the animal shelter usually sees an influx of animals being surrendered in February. “We haven’t seen it yet, but we will,” Lane said. “It will happen. A lot of people will adopt a Christmas puppy and then it won’t work out. And then we’ll get it back, or we’ll get the animals being dumped, and we’ll get them in.”
While the outcry over the dumped puppies stirred on Facebook, the Humane Society made it a point to tell its social media friends not to forget about all of the other animals the shelter currently has available for adoption. Currently, the Humane Society has about 20 adult dogs and 22 cats ready for adoption.
“If everyone liked, shared, and left comments on the other posts like they did the pups, we would never have a full shelter and every dog would have a forever home,” read a portion of a post made on Wednesday.
The shelter sees a lot of German shepherds and pit bulls being surrendered but also sees those same breeds being claimed right away.
The surrender fee at the Cass County Humane Society is $35 and that fee covers shots, spaying or neutering.
“It’s not hard. We’re really nice here. And we understand situations get bad, but I mean, we do what we can with what we have here to provide the best care. All people have to do is call us or come in and talk to us and most of the time, if we have room, we’ll take it. That’s why we’re here,” said Lane.
In the state of Indiana, abandonment of an animal is a class A misdemeanor.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Each year, about 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized.
According to the ASPCA, spaying or neutering pets helps control the pet homelessness crisis. There is also medical and behavioral benefits to spaying and neutering animals.
For information on how to adopt any of the animals at the shelter, call the Cass County Humane Society at 574-516-1526.