Have you seen this couple? Man and woman abandon dog, 11 puppies outside closed shelter
DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A man and woman were caught on surveillance footage abandoning a dog and her 11 puppies at a closed animal shelter Sunday, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
The couple were seen puling up to the Walton County Animal Shelter in DeFuniak Spings in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck just before noon Sunday, according to a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office. The video also shows a black dog getting out of the truck.
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The couple are seen sifting through donations left at the front of the building. The man then places a box next to the front door and returns to the back of the truck to close the tailgate. The woman follows and the two leave without the dog or puppies.
The animal shelter is closed to the public on Sunday, but staff are always on hand to care for the animals. A sign on the front doors of the building reads, “STOP, do not bring your animal inside. For assistance call, (850) 892-8758,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the post.
The shelter staff noticed the black dog peering through the windows of the shelter about an hour after it was left outside. When they went outside to investigate, staff noticed movement in the box left by the door.
They found 11 puppies in the box. The dog and her puppies were then brought inside.
“These dogs have clearly had a rough 24 hours. Abandoned days before Christmas and left out in the cold,” the WCSO said. “There is no indication of what kind of treatment these animals received before coming to the shelter. But they are in good hands now.”
The Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport stepped in to help provide the animals shelter. The shelter is looking for foster homes for the animals. According to the WCSO, the staff has said the puppies are friendly, but the black dog appears to be wary of people.
Anyone able to open up their home to the animals is asked to reach out to the Alaqua Animal Refuge by visiting https://alaqua.org/how-to-help/foster-an-animal/.
Walton County Animal Services asks that anyone who is having trouble taking care of their pets to reach out to the shelter.
“Reaching out does not mean dropping animals off on a day when the shelter is closed and leaving them for dead,” the WCSO said. “It means picking up the phone and allowing Animal Services employees to provide a time for intake and to collect information about your animals.”
Abandoning animals is illegal, and the couple captured on video could face criminal charges. According to Florida State Statutes, anyone who abandons an animal is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 or both imprisonment and a fine.
Anyone who can identify the people in the video is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 850-892-8111.