A "horrifying" surprise greeted a Brandon Humane Society employee this weekend when she arrived at the shelter only to find a small black puppy tied up and abandoned at the front gate.
Donna McNutt found the puppy when she arrived at the shelter early Saturday morning.
She pulled up to the front gate at about 7:40 a.m. and was greeted by a small, scared puppy that had been tied up to the gate with his leash.
"He was barking, and as I approached him, I was a little concerned that he was aggressive, but as soon as I approached him, I realized that he was just really scared and nervous," McNutt said. "I couldn’t believe it when I drove up and saw the poor little thing tied up like that."
The puppy was dropped off sometime after 9:30 p.m. Friday.
The puppy soon warmed up to McNutt and she was able to get him to a shady spot and supply the ravenous canine with food and water.
"He was really scared until he realized I was there to help him," McNutt said.
McNutt has been with the Humane Society for four years and has never seen anything like this happen.
Humane Society shelter manager Tracy Munn said that events of these nature are rare, but it’s always disturbing to see when animals are treated with this blatant disregard, she said.
"It used to happen more often," Munn said. "I thought we were past the day and age that people would do that kind of s—t … people that do that are lowlives."
Munn was appalled that the puppy was left overnight tied to the gate because "anything could have happened to that poor animal," she said.
She expects that the puppy could have trauma from the experience.
Munn has been rescuing animals for nearly 23 years, she said, and it always disappointing to encounter situations of this nature.
She has seen both dogs and kittens abandoned at the shelter in the winter and the summer.
Abandoning an animal is illegal, and people who are caught doing so can face criminal charges and/or a fine, Munn said.
"People need to hear this," Munn said. "It’s unacceptable. I hate abuse."
The abandoned puppy will be sent to the Brandon City Pound, where he will wait three days in the hopes someone claims him and explains what happened.
After the allocated 72-hour holding period, animals are adopted, given to shelters or euthanized.
The event speaks to the growing crisis of abandoned animals in the province, Munn said.
"Too many people are giving up animals. They (the government) needs to make a mandate that you have to spay and neuter," Munn said.
Taking these birth control steps could play a critical role in lowering stray populations, and hopefully prevent events like this from happening again, she said.
Owners can call the Humane Society if they can no longer look after their animal, Munn said, and the animal can be placed on the shelter’s Facebook site until a spot can be found for them. Those who choose to surrender an animal face a waiting list due to the number of animals in the region.
Pet owners do not get in trouble for bringing an animal to a shelter or the pound, Munn said.
Surrendering the dog gives the animal the opportunity to find a forever home, and is always better than just dumping them somewhere, McNutt said.
The top concern of most shelters is to give the animals the best possible lives and their forever families, especially given the rough start may have had.
"Life happens. Sometimes people get puppies or dogs with the best of intentions and circumstances just don’t work out," McNutt said. "We know that here and we try to be understanding."
Between the Humane Society, Funds for Furry Friends and the Brandon City Pound they cannot keep up with all the animals, Munn said.
"I’m just horrified that someone could even contemplate tying their animal up and leaving them," McNutt said.
The Brandon City Pound could not be reached for comment.
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