Abandoned or abused animal cases have increased in the Dayton area as the state, law enforcement and pet advocate agencies seek to combat the problem.
On Sunday, more than 20 dogs, including seven adults and 13 puppies were found abandoned in parts of southern Montgomery County, according to investigators and pet adoption centers.
The dogs, Yorkshire Terriers or mixes, were placed in the care of either Washington Twp.-based Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals Pet Adoption and Wellness Center (SICSA) or Luv4K9s in Dayton, according to Washington Twp. Administrator Jesse Lightle.
A sheriff’s deputy was dispatched Sunday to Primary Village South on Paragon Road where the dogs were left in a box with food and a note indicating the previous owner was no longer able to care for the animals.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into the case.
The incident is indicative of a larger problem, one that the non-profit is trying to change, according to Nora Vondrell, CEO of SICSA.
“While we have seen similar cases before, SICSA has not be involved in a case where there have been multiple dumping in different locations. We have been involved in assisting with hoarding cases, but those are all in one location,” Vondrell told the Dayton Daily News. “We also, unfortunately, have had animals dumped at SICSA and other locations before. All three scenarios concern us, which is why we have started our Help Center. Our Help Center is set up to assist people before they get to the point where they feel they have no choices but to abandon animals.”
The dogs were described as filthy and in poor condition, but SISCA says this can be avoided if owners reach out to get help with animals they can no longer care for.
“As with other community challenges, prevention and education is key,” Vondrell said. “Educating the community about responsible pet ownership, as well as resources to help them. This includes spay and neuter services and humane education.”
Abandoning and abusing animals is a crime, as an Ohio law passed in 2016 made animal cruelty a fifth-degree felony.
“Our detectives are working diligently on this case to see if they can locate the person or persons who may have abandoned these dogs in the township,” said Sheriff Rob Streck.
Animal cruelty has recently came under the spotlight statewide. An Ohio law has been proposed that would makes it a third-degree felony to knowingly and needlessly kill a pet.
SISCA officials say the dogs abandoned on Sunday are decompressing in the non-profit’s Temporary Care Unit. Its veterinary and animal care staff are currently caring for them.
They eventually will be spayed/neutered and placed for adoption, but not until they get a clean bill of health – both physically and emotionally.
“We have received an overwhelming number of requests related to these dogs, including people wanting us to contact them when the pups are up for adoption,” Vondrell said. “Because of the sheer numbers, we will not be able to reach out to people individually when the dogs are available for adoption. We ask people to continue checking our website and Facebook page for information about when they will be available.”
Instead of illegally abandoning animals, Vondrell encouraged people to reach out to the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, SICSA, or other adoption centers for ways to safely surrender the animals to the facilities.
SICSA did 2,039 adoptions and placements in 2019. If anyone is looking to help these animals and others like them, they can donate online towards the organization’s Guardian Angel Fund.
“We also have a crowdfunding opportunity you may access from our Facebook page. They can also donate their time by signing up to volunteer on our website,” Vondrell said. “While volunteering, including fostering, may not include these particular pups, we always have animals in need of care and attention.”
People with information about the abandoned dogs should call Detective Ben Egloff at 937-432-2757.
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