Niagara Falls – Police are searching for the person who “left dead” a six-month-old Labrador puppy in a wooded area off the 7400 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard.
Animal control and patrol officers responded to a call at 5:18 p.m. on August 28 from a “dog abandoned for the past two days” in a wooded area behind a tire store and retail outlet. The caller told police reporters that the dog had been chained to a shopping cart and left without food, water or shelter.
Officers said they searched for the puppy and heard what they described as “a piercing bark and groan” coming from an area about 100 yards north of the retail store’s parking lot. As they followed the barking and whining, officers said they found a “medium-sized, tan mixed puppy tied to a shopping cart” lying on its side.
Animal Control Officer Donny Booth described the puppy as “wasting”. In his report on the incident, Booth wrote that the pup “looked weak, with an uneasy posture” and began barking and wailing as officers approached.
He said the puppy “tried to hide in the overturned shopping cart” and appeared frightened. Officers said the puppy was attached to the handle of the cart with an interlocking chain and put pressure on the dog’s neck.
Booth wrote that the officers were able to undo the leash and have the puppy drink some water and eat a small amount of dog food. The pup was then taken to the SPCA shelter in Niagara where it was treated by the veterinary staff.
After confirming that the pup was a female, she was named Fawn.
“She was a bit skinny when she got here,” said SPCA CEO Amy Lewis. “But she was very kind. I sat with her on the floor and she sat on my lap.”
Falls Police said their investigation into the incident is ongoing and they have currently charged three counts of animal cruelty related to the case.
“We would definitely like to find out who did that and have a conversation with them,” Lewis said.
The shelter’s executive director said she’s been seeing an increasing number of abandoned animals being brought in over the past few months.
“We’re seeing more and more abandonment,” Lewis said. “I think he is talking about the lack of resources in the area. People are having a hard time taking care of their pets.”
Lewis said the number of displaced is taxing the Lockport Road shelter, which often finds itself overcrowded.
“For people who are having difficulty (with pets), we hope that they will reach out to us,” she said. “We may not be able to accept[a pet’s surrender]but we will try to help in other ways, such as providing food if they need it.”
For Fawn, Lewis said saving the pup had a happy ending. She was adopted and is now waiting to leave the shelter to join her new family.