A man was caught on CCTV, abandoning puppies in a sealed box without water or fresh air. Authorities immediately began seeking the public’s help in identifying him as the local shelter also issued a warning to anyone thinking of doing the same.
Andrew Stubbs, the supervisor at the Mobile County Animal Shelter (MCAS) in Alabama, was left disgusted by what his staff found when they arrived for work on a Monday morning. On the front porch of the facility, in a sealed container, were four hungry, thirsty, wet, and oxygen-deprived puppies, abandoned without explanation.
“Leaving them like that, you basically put them there for them to die,” Stubbs explained while speaking to Fox 10. “That’s like putting someone in a container and dropping them in the ocean,” he said. “That’s just… it’s wrong.” Sadly, although it is wrong, it’s not all that uncommon. In fact, this was the second illegal abandonment of animals at the shelter in two weeks, according to staff members who admitted that they “see it a lot lately.”
After reviewing CCTV footage captured at the shelter, it was determined that the puppies, who were just weeks old, were dropped off by an unidentified driver at 9:21 p.m. Sadly, this meant they endured nine hours in the sealed box without food, water, or fresh air. When they were finally found, they were covered in their own feces and filth, damp to the touch, and in generally poor condition.
But, they thankfully managed to survive and were still alive. Others weren’t so lucky. In the weeks before these puppies were found, MCAS staff discovered two abandoned animals dead outside the shelter after they “were hit by cars because someone tied them up on the property.” The shelter hopes to spread the message that abandoning unwanted animals outside an animal shelter is illegal. It’s simply not the proper way to handle things.
“MCAS has had another litter of puppies abandoned at our door after hours,” the shelter posted on Facebook the day the dogs were found. “In this instance, there was a degree of cruelty involved as the puppies were left in a sealed container, with no food, no water, and no fresh oxygen for over 9 hours,” they added.
“Abandoning animals is a crime, and we ask that if you have stray or unwanted animals, that you please reach out to your local animal shelter or a rescue organization,” the post continued. “Please don’t endanger animals’ lives by dropping them off somewhere you think they will be found. The outcome for these puppies could have been very different.”
Although the shelter admits they did receive some negative feedback for “shaming” the guilty party on Facebook, their hope is that, by making each criminal offense visible to the local community, fewer and fewer acts of negligence will occur. They remind people in such situations to reach out to their local animal shelter or rescue organization for assistance as MCAS staff member Elizabeth Jones assured the public that the shelter will always try to work with animal owners in dire straits.
Contact with the previous owners is important for shelters. This affords them the opportunity to collect vital information about the animals being surrendered to help ensure their health and safety. Stubbs reminded pet owners that “there are standards” that need to be followed. “It’s an animal. It’s a live animal,” he said, reminding others to give these living beings the consideration they deserve.
“You wouldn’t do that to a baby,” Stubbs furthered. And, he’s right. Even with the controversial Safe Haven Law, infants must be surrendered unharmed at designated safe locations. In Alabama, the law requires newborns, only up to three days old, to be taken to hospitals and emergency rooms, where they are able to be immediately cared for by staff, not left alone overnight in unfavorable conditions.
Leaving any living creature alone in a sealed container to suffer through the night is unacceptable, but especially in Mobile County, where there are four shelters available to assist with rehoming unwanted pets. Luckily, these Chihuahua-mix puppies survived the ordeal, and as adorable as they are, they are likely to be adopted without much trouble. Hopefully, their story also serves to save other animals from unnecessary torture. If you don’t want an animal, take it to a shelter during business hours and hand it over to the staff the right way.