Animal Shelters Struggle With Pets Abandoned After Hours

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Animal shelters all over Kansas are constantly dealing with animals that have been dumped at their doorsteps by owners who don't want them.

Just last week, five puppies were left outside the Pratt Area Humane Society in a plastic tub with free puppies written on the side. Otis, Penny and Harley are the newest pups at the Pratt Area Humane Society.

“I don't know anything about these little guys except that they are very, very cute,” Pratt Area Humane Society Manager Sandy Scarberry said.

Scarberry says the puppies were left at the shelter's door last week.

“I think it's very cruel and inhumane,” Scarberry said.

Scarberry says the dogs are small enough to fit in one cage. As part of their deal with the city and county, the Pratt Humane Society has to have four open cages at all times.

'If these had been four dogs that had just gotten dropped off instead of puppies there go my four kennels and I would have to have done euthanization,” Scarberry said.

Scarberry says they see animals abandoned at the shelter all the time. Just this year it's happened five times.

It's not just a problem in the city of Pratt. Representatives from animal shelters in Newton, Hutchinson and Wichita all say they see the same thing.

“At our old location down on K-15 one of the things we saw quite often was animals being dumped during non-business hours.” Kansas Humane Society Director of Communications Jennifer Campbell said.

Campbell says when the Kansas Humane Society moved into it's new location, they built after hours drop boxes to keep abandoned animals safe. They're climate controlled and have food and water inside.

“They're just absolutely being used and it's what we had hoped,” Campbell said.

The Pratt Humane Society has a much smaller operation. Scarberry says all she can do is keep an eye out for abandoned animals and try to find permanent homes for the ones who are left at her door.

Two of the five Pratt puppies have already been adopted but there are still three left. Meanwhile, a $100 reward is being offered for any information on who left the dogs at the shelter last Tuesday.

According to Kansas law, intentionally abandoning any animal in any place without making provisions for it's proper care is considered animal cruelty.

A first conviction of cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor. After that, it is a non-person felony and can have a punishment of up to one year in prison and a $2500 fine.


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