STROUD TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Illegal dumping is a huge problem this time of year, but it’s not just garbage that’s being discarded.
People are unlawfully disposing of their pets, leaving animal shelters swamped and unable to help those who follow the rules.
When staff showed up to AWSOM Animal Shelter Monday morning, they spotted an unusual plastic bin out front. It was lined with a blanket and wrapped tight in tape.
“Yeah, it’s surprising,” says Rich Homar, Director of Operations, AWSOM.
When staff opened the lid, they found three cats inside with no air to breathe.
“I think maybe if the cats were left here longer, overnight, they may have suffocated,” Homar adds.
A large sign posted out front warns that the shelter is under surevillance, and people who leave pets will be prosecuted. Yet, every so often, animals are left here in boxes, garbage bags, or just tied to a post.
AWSOM is overwhelmed with animals and resources are stretched. The shelter has a waiting list to take in dogs and cats. But when animals are illegally dumped, those patient people who follow procedure are put on hold even longer.
Homar explains, “just dropping them off at our front door after hours, it just makes it tough on us.”
Volunteers say it’s extremely important to spay or neuter pets, to control the population.
“People even in their own homes cant take care of them when it gets out of hand. They start re-producing with each other,” says Melissa Cozze, Clinic Manager, AWSOM.
The three cats left out front are now receiving love and medical attention, but they have a long road to recovery.
Cozze explains, “they all have ear mites and their mouth infections are terrible.”
The person who dumped the cats was captured on surveillance.