Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 9:13pm
On Friday, August 14th, 2009, after receiving complaints from neighbors, we arrived at an Oldsmar address concerning three Puggle (Pug/Beagle mix) puppies. We saw three young puppies on a screened porch in the 90 degree weather. They had no food or water and were lying on urine and feces covered paper.
Near the puppies crate was an airline carrier that was big enough to house a cat for a short period of time. However, inside was the mother Puggle. She could hardly turn around, her water bowl had spilled and the inside of the carrier was covered in feces. She couldn’t even lay down. Her collar was completely embedded with feces and urine – the smell was unimaginable. We immediately contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department and a deputy arrived in minutes.
We knocked on the door and no one answered so we started the removal process. As we were taking photos, the owner of the dogs came from around the house. She became visibly upset at the idea that we were taking her dogs. She felt that there was nothing wrong with the situation and she had planned on selling the puppies. After convincing her that the dogs were going to be removed and she had limited options in the situation, she agreed to relinquish custody to Suncoast Animal League. She said she was too busy to clean up after them. Further investigation found two capable adults in the home, one was busy “drinking” and the other busy playing video games.
The Mom and her pups were transported back to the League’s shelter for medical examinations and much needed baths (actually several baths were needed). Bloated looking bellies indicated the puppies probably had worms. We tested them and found the dogs were loaded with round worms which, if left untreated for another week or two, could have killed the puppies. The pups were a little malnourished from a combination of diarrhea and adult Ol’Roy dog food, but were well enough to be placed immediately into a foster home. Mom, who is only 13 months old herself, stayed another day with us and was given another bath. She too was placed in a foster home. Momma dog was found to have a microchip that we traced to an auction house in Louisiana.
When you wade through all filthy conditions these dogs endured, it still comes out smelling like a puppy mill encounter. I’m sure that this can be traced from a puppy mill to an auction house, to a pet store and then a buyer. Well, it all ends here… and begins here, for these little dogs.