Abandoned animals on the rise

August 27, 2009 11:43:53 PM PDT
Animal welfare groups said hundreds of dogs and cats are being dumped in rural areas, or even thrown in the garbage, alive. An old male Chihuahua was among the latest victims of animal abandonment.

The animal is being cared for by Merced veterinarian Christine McFadden.

"This little guy and we're calling him Dumpster Doggy for now, was found by a Livingston Animal Control Officer, wrapped up in a garbage bag in a dumpster and left to die."

Dr. McFadden adds the dog had been badly hurt.

"He had multiple punctures around his neck and over his body Some dog had clearly grabbed him by the throat. And whatever person wrapped him up in a garbage bag and dumped him was a horrible person." McFadden said.

The dog is on anti-biotic and pain medication. Dr. McFadden said he is expected to make a full recovery.

In Madera, a litter of five tiny kittens was just rescued from a dumpster in a city park by firefighters.

Volunteer Firefighter Noe Gonzalez climbed in to save the animals.

"It was kind of smelly, poor cats in there in the middle of a bunch of branches and a bunch of trash, not a good place for little cats to be. It was kind of sad seeing all the little guys abandoned." Gonzalez said.

A local resident is working to nurse the kittens back to health.

The kittens and the dog are lucky they were found, and will likely be adopted out.

But McFadden says an untold number of abandoned animals appears to be on the rise.

"We see a lot of animals being left. We see that at any time but it does seem to be worse now because of foreclosures. We know there are some homeless people that have pets and have abandoned them." McFadden said.

Animal welfare groups said few abandoned animals survive. They urge anyone who can't take care of a pet to take it to a shelter, where the animal will receive humane care, and have a chance to be placed in a new home.

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