For tragic and gruesome animal stories, this is one of the worst.
Twenty dogs and two cats were found dead after a Summerdale, Alabama, police officer arrived at Purple Hearted Puppies animal shelter on Thursday night in response to a neighbor’s complaint. Inside, police found dogs and cats left without food in cages for weeks, Sonja Presley, executive director of the Baldwin County Humane Society, said today at the site.
Starving Dogs Turned To Dog Cannibalism
About 50 cats were found in cages inside the house. Two of the cats were dead. Two horses found on the property could not be saved and were put to death, Presley said.
“It’s voluminous and it’s taking all the rescue groups and veterinary clinics to collaborate. No one has ever seen this magnitude of animal cruelty in Baldwin County.”
Some of the dog carcasses had been eaten by other starving dogs, Presley said.
“It was survival,” she said. “They cannibalized the other dogs.”
Police found cases of pet food and other supplies at the site.
Owners Skipped Town More Than 10 Days Ago
Outside in a shed, police scrambled to save the lives of dozens of starving cats. Officers poured food into the cages as fast as they could. The owners skipped town more than 10 days ago, leaving the animals to fend for themselves.
This is the same scenario that Care2 reported on last fall, when police discovered the corpses of 25 horses rotting in a “sanctuary” in California. Or again, in Texas, where starving horses had been abandoned by their owners.
What makes people treat animals in this way?
But there’s even more to the horrific Alabama story.
Aside from the hundreds of animals found abandoned at the Summerdale animal shelter, more starving dogs and cats were found at a home in Robertsdale, Alabama.
As veterinarians, animal shelter staffers and police tended dogs at the scene where more than 200 neglected dogs, cats, horses and poultry were found, officials received word that another two dozen untended animals had been found at the owners’ home in Robertsdale.
Roberta Dueitt and her daughter, Sharon Dueitt, were arrested Thursday and charged with 20 counts of cruelty to animals, Summerdale Police Chief Eddie Ingram said. The two were released from the Foley city jail on $10,000 bail. Ingram said police are looking for a third suspect and other charges could be filed against the Dueitts.
For any of you Care2 activists who live anywhere near Summerdale: if you’d like to adopt one of these precious animals, please do so. For people wanting to help but unable to take in a dog or a cat, police are asking for pet food donations, blankets, kennels- any kind of pet supplies. Contact the Summerdale Police Department for more information.
Here’s a video of this tragic story, but be warned: it contains graphic images of dead and starving animals.
Photo Credit: Caroline Noel
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