RANCHO SANTA FE — Helen Woodward Animal Center released the story of dog abandoned on Center property on Monday, March 13. Security cameras show a man parked in an adjacent shopping plaza, waiting for approximately 15 to 20 minutes while Center employees leave at the end of the work day. The man then calls the dog out of his car and leaves the canine unleashed and uncrated outside of the Companion Animal Hospital, which is closed for the evening. After the man drives away, the dog wanders out into the night. Helen Woodward Animal Center requested help finding the dog, as well as offered a reward to anyone who could identify the man who abandoned the animal. Unfortunately, the story has a tragic ending as a dog matching the description of the abandoned canine was found critically injured in the middle of the street by good Samaritans only hours later. The dog died from those injuries.
Helen Woodward Animal Center found out about the tragic last moments of the dog’s life when the story hit the social media circuit and alerted a woman on Next Door who described seeing the dog in the middle of the street across from the Center at 9:30 p.m. on Monday evening. Four cars stopped to help the dog who was bleeding from the mouth and head and looked to have been attacked by coyotes or struck by a car. The dog collapsed in the street and although it was taken to a local emergency clinic, the dog was dead upon arrival. The veterinary hospital has confirmed the arrival of the dog, as well as a similar appearance.
Ashley Levy, one of the individuals who stopped to help the dog had this to say, “I will never forget that dog for the rest of my life. The look in his eyes will stay with me. You can tell it was an old dog and had been somebody’s pet. I’ve been crying for days. The only thing that comforts me is that so many people stopped to help. After seeing the heartlessness of the individual on the security camera, it’s good to know that there is still kindness in the world.”
Once again, Helen Woodward Animal Center wants to remind the community that the organization is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help identify the person who abandoned the dog. The Center has attempted to file a police report against the individual who broke San Diego Law, Ordinance No. 9274, Sec. 62.673, which makes it illegal for any individual to abandon an animal. In part, the law states, “No person shall abandon any domestic animal without care on any public or private property. Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Currently the Sherriff’s department refuses to file the report.
The story is a cautionary tale for those who consider giving up a pet without following proper procedures. Those adopting a pet should remember that a pet is a lifetime responsibility and have a plan in place in case of emergency. Making an agreement with a friend or family member to take care of the pet should a crisis arise is the best way to ensure a positive outcome. Helen Woodward Animal Center also has programs in place for those experiencing hardship, such as AniMeals (providing pet food for the pets of those in need) and Pets Without Walls (providing basic medical checkups, vaccines, flea and tick medication and more). Other possibilities are contacting a local rescue to see what options are available and ultimately contacting County Animal Control if you must relinquish the pet.
“This poor dog had the most terrible end to its life,” stated PR Manager Monica Petruzzelli. “You can tell this dog trusted the man who left it. It comes to him as he calls and then looks so confused when he leaves. You can tell the dog doesn’t know why its been left and then to have such traumatic final moments is just heartbreaking. Why this person would leave the dog uncrated and exposed to the traffic, the cold and the wildlife in the area is beyond all of us. We’re truly devastated.”
Helen Woodward Animal Center is offering $5,000 to anyone who can help identify the person who abandoned the dog. Please contact the Adoptions Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 1, visit animalcenter.org or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.