INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Nine days ago a man found a box of ten puppies in a dumpster behind a South Lake Tahoe gas station. They were only a few hours old. Six of them survived and are now being cared for at the Pet Network Humane Society in Incline Village. Executive Director Becky Goodman says she was horrified.
“Initially the reaction when you find out that someone would take newborn puppies and pull them from their mother is bad enough but to pull them from their mother and put them in a dumpster is just unconscionable.”
The puppies spend days at the shelter and nights with several foster parents. They eyes are still shut and they need to be fed every two hours.
“It's a little scary and a little tiring but it's very worthwhile,” board member and foster parent Diane Finegan said. “It feel wonderful, it really does. They are so sweet and they deserve a chance in life and we're hoping they get good homes.”
“We wanted to see that these little guys have a chance at life,” Richard Finegan said. “They got off to a pretty rough start and we want to see them grow up and have a good happy life.”
The couple is looking after two of the newborns, including the only surviving female.
“We've had a couple of issues with the little girl here but she's doing very well now and our other little guy is gaining a lot of weight,” Finegan said.
The shelter has filed paperwork with police and animal control but say it's unlikely they'll find out who did this.
“This is animal cruelty; you can't abandon an animal let alone a box of animals in a dumpster and leave them to die,” Goodman said. “We remain hopeful that if we don't find this person that it will at least make sure no one else does this in the future and that they know there's a better path to take than to leave animals in a dumpster.”
She says it's too early to determine the breed of the dogs so for now they're calling them “American Short hair Cuties.”
Because the dogs were never nursed their immune systems have been compromised so there are no visitors allowed at this point. They still need around-the-clock care and won't be available for adoption for at least another eight weeks. After that, the hope is to find them happy homes.
“We hope they find their forever homes and live long, happy lives,” Richard Finegan said.
You can fill out applications for adoption online at www.petnetwork.org
They are also accepting donations that can be earmarked for the “dumpster puppies.”
The staff is also charting the puppies' progress on the Pet Network Facebook page.