GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. — Six dogs had a terrifying night on Wednesday, Oct. 2 after they were left outside in the pouring rain.
A man was seen dumping the dogs at about 8:15 p.m. inside the back enclosure of the Humane Society of Midland County.
“I started pulling into the parking lot and these three dogs rushed out to meet me,” said Nikki Rayce, president of the Humane Society of Midland County. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my God. Did all the dogs get out?’ I didn’t know what was going on.”
Rayce was the first person to get to the shelter. At first, she was unaware of the traumatic night the dogs had until she watched surveillance video.
“Three of the dogs had gotten out,” said Rayce. “They were throwing themselves at the gate. We had to watch hours of them as lightning was strobing everywhere and they’re just throwing themselves behind the tree, throwing themselves at the fence.”
The other three dogs were inside the outdoor enclosure.
She said she got the dogs inside right away and checked them out.
PHOTO GALLERY (PHOTOS Courtesy: Humane Society of Midland County/Facebook)
She said after viewing the video, she couldn’t understand how someone could do this.
“As a pet owner, I couldn’t imagine putting a pet owner through that,” Rayce said.
She said one of the dogs tore the entire pad off his foot during the chaos, and added that the condition of the dogs wasn’t the best.
“They have parasites really bad,” said Rayce. “They’re very thin, but they’re so sweet.”
Rayce said she wants people to utilize the shelter as a resource, especially in desperate situations. She said dumping animals isn’t the way to get rid of animals because it’s illegal. She said she wants the person responsible for dumping the dogs to come forward.
“Number one, if they were strays, where did you find them?” said Rayce. “Number two, if you’re the owner, we need to know the medical history. Some are in bad shape. We need to make sure that any other dogs at the home are OK, and if they need resources, we can help.”
Anyone who recognized the man in the video was urged to call Midland police or the Humane Society of Midland County.
How to safely surrender animals
“It’s heartbreaking that people do that sort of thing,” said Paul Wallace, director of the Genesee County Animal Control. “We’ve had it happen here multiple times.”
Wallace said what happened to those six dogs in Midland is illegal across the state.
“If you dump off one dog, it’s a 93-day misdemeanor, and it goes up from there,” Wallace said.
Wallace said depending on the amount of dogs dropped off without notice after business hours, a person caught doing this can even get felony charges.
“We’d like for you to come to us, and then bring your dog and your cat or whatever you have, surrender it during regular business hours,” said Wallace. “That’s the only real lawful way to do it.”
Wallace said there are proper ways to surrender your pets — and abandoning them is not one of them.
He said there are plenty of options for people who can no longer take care of their animals.