TAMPA, Fla. — The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who abandoned four sick puppies on the side of the road, just across the street from the shelter.
Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, shelter workers say a woman came in saying four puppies, who were incredibly red and swollen, were abandoned just across the street, near the intersection of Armenia and Howard.
Humane Society of Tampa Bay CEO Sherry Silk said she went with other workers across the street to retrieve the dogs, who were very sick.
"There's no excuse for anyone allowing their animals to get in that kind of condition," Silk said.
The puppies, three girls and one boy, are estimated to be about nine weeks old.
"These puppies are only nine weeks of age," Silk said. "They're babies, right? They're like infants, and for four weeks, they've suffered like this."
Dr. Nicole Cornett, the shelter veterinarian, was one of the first to examine the dogs after workers rushed them into the shelter. She tells ABC Action News the dogs have mange. They are also showing signs of malnutrition, are anemic and are small for their age, she said.
"They're so little and they're swollen. Their faces and eyes are swollen. It's painful. " Cornett said. "Their faces and eyes are swollen. It's painful."
She believes they've been suffering for far too long.
"When they get this bad, it's because they've been neglected," Cornett said.
Shelter workers are also angry because they say the puppies could have been easily and safely surrendered. They were abandoned on the sidewalk just a few hundred feet from the shelter intake doors, Silk said.
"It's literally several feet, 500 feet away from us," Silk said.
The puppies got immediate medical treatment, including a medicated bath to relieve the itching and antibiotics to help with the infection.
They will continue to go through medical treatment at the shelter for several weeks. Silk believes they will be ready for adoption by New Year's Day.
Any information you may have about who dumped these puppies can be reported to Tampa Police, Hillsborough County Animal Services or The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.