The staff at the Johnson City/Washington County animal shelter came to work Tuesday to find 20 small dogs in very poor condition at the front door.
“They were in our drop-off boxes, five to six to a box,” Director Debbie Dobbs said, incensed.
“They’re little terrier, Chihuahua mixes, a couple of Shih Tzu mixes and they’re in really bad shape. They’re dirty. They’re smelly. They’re malnourished. They have bad coats, matted coats. And all of them are full of parasites.”
Dobbs speculated the person or persons responsible are most likely puppy breeders or hoarders who became overwhelmed.
She called it an act of cowardice for them not to ask for the shelter’s help, or at least leave information to help dogs go on to other homes.
De-wormed, vaccinated and fed, Dobbs said the dogs had calmed down after the trauma of being abandoned and were spending Tuesday afternoon sleeping.
Shelter volunteers are expected in today to begin their much needed grooming.
“They’ve eaten and they’re sleeping now. They’re content. Their stomachs are full. We’re going to clean them up and try to get them adopted,” Dobbs said.
“They’re friendly. I can say that they were loved because they’re all friendly.
“To me, it’s an act of cowardice that someone could not bring them in the daytime while we’re here. They could have called and asked for help bringing them in, or at least left a note giving us their histories, giving us their names.
“We don’t even know their names and they were terrified. It’s horrible.
“We needed to let the paper know, this isn’t the way to do it.”
The shelter is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. The four drop-off cages at the door are there because without them, Dobbs said, “people put them out in our parking lot and leave.”
This week has been especially heavy, with the shelter taking in 17 more dogs by 3:40 Tuesday afternoon and 22 dogs on Monday.
“We would have liked for this to be a down day,” Dobbs said.
Most of the 20 dogs discovered at the shelter Tuesday morning appear to be 5 to 7 years old. One may be as young a year old and one may be as old as 9.
The number to adopt any of the dogs or to request the shelter’s assistance is 926-8769.