Hundreds Of Animals Starving Or Dead; Shelter Owners Arrested (Video)

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?

More Horror

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.

Please Help!

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.

Related Stories

Rotting Corpses Of 25 Horses Discovered At “Sanctuary”

Starving Horses Abandoned By Owners

Why We Will Boycott “The Grey”

Photo Credit: Caroline Noel


Angela P.
Angie P3 years ago

I see the story is from 2012. Hopefully the people responsible at both places where prosecuted and the animals that were still alive are in good homes.

Jennifer Daniel
Past Member 3 years ago

Why? WHY? Many thanks to the rescuers, and I hope those reprobates have the book thrown at them, literally and figuratively!

Pat P.
Pat P3 years ago

Whose idea was it to have a ridiculous poll asking whether the shelter owners should be punished? Are they nuts?! Anyone who would not vote YES!!!, would have to be really twisted.

They should receive the severest punishment imaginable, but I am afraid they will not get a long enough prison sentence. I believe life in prison would be about right.

We won't know how many of these poor animals actually died, how many had irreparable physical or psychological damage, how many had to be euthanized because of the damage or because they are not adopted. You never realize the total horror of a situation like this.

ALL breeding should be banned, ALL shelters should have strict licensing requirements and have regular unannounced monitoring by an organization that really cares, and ALL people guilty of animal cruelty should be severely punished--that means prison time, and for some many, many years. In addition, as I have mentioned various times on this site, there should be an animal cruelty list, just like that for sexual predators.

Will any of my "shoulds" ever be realized? Even one of these suggestions could really help the plight of innocent animals. I don't like to be pessimistic, but it is difficult not to be, with the abundance of articles and videos relating animal cruelty. Nothing really seems to be improving. More sociopaths/psychopaths keep crawling out of their holes, demonstrating their evil against those that can't defend themselves.

Andreas Ioannou

I'm supposed to be a man whatever that means, but could not watch the video or read the story, I just read the comments and could not go any further but i just hope from the bottom of my heart that these humanoids get in return what they gave to these poor souls, nothing more nothing less. Just the thought of their miserable existence screaming to leave their rotten bodies will make me sigh with relief. Our tears will guide the poor, innocent souls to heaven...

Vesper B.
Vesper B3 years ago

If this is how they treat animals I hope the daughter doesn't have kids. We don't need her teaching another generation how to mistreat animals.

judith mignacca
judith mignacca3 years ago

I hope these 2 evil bitches get cancer that eats them alive...I hope they rot from the inside out and are left in the deepest darkest hole to writhe in pain bleeding from every orifice. I hope they are given a crumb of bread and a drop of water every day so they stay barely alive to feel the most suffering for the longest time. And lastly, I hope the memory of those animals that died haunt them every moment they live until they take their last miserable breaths.

Kelly Lowry
Kelly Lowry4 years ago

I can't catch my breath I'm sobbing uncontrollable hearing the screams and cries of starving animals was just too much I want these monsters put in conditions they put these animals in I'm sickened that bond was ONLY $10,000 Let me have those sick monsters I will be sure they comprehend what they did, for god sake let them at least OUT of the cage. NOTHING can take away the sound of those starving animals crying begging pleading from my ears NOTHING can take the images from my eyes NOTHING can stop my heart from breaking. I can NEVER forgive because I can NEVER forget, may god have NO MERCY on their pathetic souls, wait it is NOT god who will judge their souls

Marcia Geiger
Marcia G4 years ago

I agree with Deborah...also tattoo with Animal Abuser..just in case someone didn't check the registry.

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege4 years ago

Shocking! Heartbreaking! No word is strong enough to describe what is on that video.

Kay M.
Kay M4 years ago