Huntsville pet owners who abandoned dog could face animal cruelty charges

Huntsville Animal Services is actively searching for the owners.

Posted: May 2, 2019 11:02 PM
Updated: May 3, 2019 7:39 AM

Huntsville Animal Services told WAAY 31 they rescued a dog from a house on Oakwood Avenue on Wednesday. Right now, they're looking for the owners who could face animal cruelty charges for abandoning the dog.

A neighbor told WAAY 31 they called animal control last week concerned about the dog inside the house. Animal control left a notice on the door. On Wednesday the dog was outside, so a neighbor called animal control again to come rescue the dog.

Karen Sheppard is the Director of Huntsville Animal Services. She told WAAY 31 they get roughly 5 calls a week for abandoned animals. 25 percent of those are actually abandoned pets, "We see a lot of skinny dogs. Not this skinny," said Sheppard.

Sheppard can't tell exactly how long he's been without food, "He obviously 30 percent underweight," said Sheppard.

William Swindall lives across the street from the house where the dog was found. Since he moved in 6 months ago he's seen people stop by the house only a few times, "They don't really stay long. It's like they're cleaning out the house," said Swindall.

WAAY 31 asked Sheppard if she deems this an abandonment case, "It sure looks that way. It sure looks like he got abandoned," said Sheppard.

Abandonment is considered animal cruelty, which comes with a fine and possible jail time, according Alabama Law.

Swindall said the owners, "Definitely deserve, you know, to pay fines, or be properly punished," said Swindall.

The owner might not ever face those consequences, "Sometimes its hard for us to prove it, because we'll catch up with people and they'll say 'oh, well it wasn't my dog," said Sheppard.

In the mean time, "We'll try to find him a home, right away. He'll be available for adoption in just a couple days," said Sheppard.

The house is a rental property. Huntsville Animal Services is in contact with the owner who lives in Tennessee. They told WAAY 31 they need his help to track down the people who lived here.

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