Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19569
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment, Other
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012

County: Lee

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Local animal control officials are searching for the owner of a now-dead and possibly abused dog abandoned outside of a Sanford animal shelter last week.

Officials said the long-haired, black Chihuahua mix was discovered outside of Sanford's Carolina Animal Rescue & Adoption (CARA) office on Deep River Road March 27 with a rope around its neck and its mouth glued shut.

CARA adoption coordinator Abbey Lindauer said shelter workers attempted to peer inside the dog's mouth to determine its age when they discovered that the mouth was glued.

"The dog was unable to open its mouth," Lindauer said.

CARA workers spotted the dog's believed owner driving away in a red truck, but the driver did not stop to talk to anyone at the shelter when they dropped off the animal at the shelter's gates.

The dog could not move its head because the top part of a litter box was pinning down the rope tied around its neck, Lindauer said.

Lindauer said the dog died later that night after it was transported to the Lee County Animal Shelter.

"We couldn't tell if it was malnourished," she said. "The dog didn't appear to have any type of symptoms of illness we could see. We couldn't say exactly what happened to the dog."

Lindauer theorized the dog had ingested glue, which caused internal blockages that led to its death, although that was unconfirmed.

Capt. Jeff Johnson of the Lee County Sheriff's Office, which handles local animal control duties, said investigators have little to go on in tracking down the pet's owner.

Lindauer said pet owners can be charged with animal cruelty due to willful cruelty or through neglect, but it is unclear what caused the grisly situation for the dog.

"If this was done intentionally, absolutely that is outright malicious intent to harm an animal," Lindauer said.

The dog's drop-off is nothing new for CARA, which had been bothered by pets left by anonymous owners at the shelter who do not come forward to identify themselves or personally hand off the animal.

The anonymous drop-offs lead to situations where the pets are left for some time if CARA staff is not present, or the animals roam the grounds or the street freely, Lindauer said.

She urged individuals, if they are no longer capable of taking care of a pet, to leave the pet at the county animal shelter or at least hand it off personally to a CARA worker.

Lindauer said her group can't foot the bill for veterinary care for the animals, and there is an intake process before pets can be given space in the "no-kill" shelter.

Anyone with information on the abandoned dog, or with knowledge of cruelty in other cases, should contact the animal control division of the Lee Sheriff's Office at (919) 775-5531.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Lee Sheriffs Office


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