DUMPING DOGS| Is income the main factor for families abandoning their puppies?


Dumped, desperate and left to fend for themselves.

It is a growing problem in our own backyard. Dogs are abandoned by their owners on purpose.

Local animal rescue organizations are asking for your help to put an end to "dog dumping" in the Las Vegas valley.

"When I got there, she was frightened", said Terri Morton with the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society.

Little Sophie, the spaniel deserved better.

"She was tied up to a fence surrounded by trucks", said Morton.

A playful pup was dumped at a truck stop with a note.

"She was a sweet dog. They did a sad face and said we can't care for her any longer", said Morton.

Humane Society volunteer Michael White sees it all time.

"She was up on a hillside behind the apartments", said White.

Sitting next to a busy freeway little Giselle's future was bleak until White showed up.

"She looked really sad, really dejected", said White.

White admits it's a story all too common yet still unbelievable.

Dogs are being dumped and abandoned. Some are left to fend for themselves.

"We've heard everything. people are out of money, living in a weekly motel. They call us because they're going to be evicted. They're waiting for a family to send money", said White.

"I think sometimes it's a matter of embarrassment. Sometimes it's a matter of irresponsibility. Sometimes it's even a matter of compassion. People think it's better to set the dog loose and have someone deal with it then take to the shelter", said Morton.

Inside The Animal Foundation shelter, Jessica Esquivel walks us by dogs abandoned or turned over by their owners now desperate for human touch.

A 10-week-old puppy was found yesterday in a cardboard box.

The Animal Foundation made changes. They want to know the reason you're surrendering your pet.

Since Sept. 2016, if you need to give up your pet, you have to make an appointment.

Shelter counselors try to give you other options, which include helping with food, training, and even re-homing your pet with a rescue volunteer.

It's a policy designed ironically to keep dogs off the street.

In 2015, more than 2,000 pets were turned over to the shelter.

Last year, that number was cut in half.

But it's not all good news.

"Are more people dumping their dogs since this policy went into effect?", we asked.

"We've noticed the numbers have gone higher", said Esquivel.

Fewer pets at the shelter do not mean more animals are staying in loving homes.

It means more people are dumping them instead.

Animal rescuers say it will take all of us to change this narrative of cruelty.

This includes spreading the message that dumping your pet is not okay.

Taking your animal to the shelter is a better option than simply leaving it behind.

Which brings us back to Gisele in her new home.

Alona Mitchell admits her heart broke knowing what her new pup had been through.

"I've never seen a dog with a spirit so broken", said Mitchell.

However, Gisele isn't the only lucky pup.

These days, little Sophie our homeless spaniel can't sit still with her new mom.

It's the matchmaking those like Terri at the Humane Society thrive on.

Letting go of favorites like Sophie to make room for the next dumped dog who may need her just as much.

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