ST. PETERSBURG, FL — St. Petersburg Police want to know who would leave nine feces-covered dogs crammed into a rusty crate in an alley off 15th Street North.
Police found the dogs, all chihauhau mixes, abandoned and in poor condition on Monday, April 16. They were filthy, had overgrown nails and one was missing an eye.
Police turned the dogs over to Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue in St. Petersburg, a nonprofit rescue founded by Jaime Bunny McKnight in 2013.
McKnight said she was horrified when she saw the condition of the dogs.
"Nine chihuahuas smashed in a rusted cage, held together with rope, rusted wire bottom , no food , no water and dumped in an alley in St. Petersburg," McKnight said, describing the condition of the dogs. "When they arrived, the reality of just how cruel, sick, heartless and sad this is hit me like a brick. Who knows how long they’ve been smashed in that cage in the alley. Scared, missing eyes, nails so long they curled over and over, covered in urine and feces, fur matted with waste, skin irritations, fleas and the list of neglect goes on."
McKnight believes the dogs were used for breeding and were dumped when they could no longer successfully breed.
"Some have holes in their ears where tags (used to identify breeders) were ripped out," she said. "I’m completely sick to my stomach."
The dogs are receiving medical care through McKnight’s veterinary partner, Partridge Animal Hospital, 6400 4th St. N., St. Petersburg. In just two days, she said she can see an improvement.
"This type of cruelty and neglect is simply mind blowing.." she said. "When I got them, everyone drank water like crazy. Now they’ve had a little food, they are on soft blankies and I’m just letting them decompress."
McKnight said all of the dogs will need bloodwork, vaccines, spays, neuters, dental care, grooming, X-rays, some will need eye and skin tests, heartworm tests "and that’s barely scratching the surface."
McKnight said the dogs will require much more care than her modest budget can afford.
"These dogs will cost a fortune," she said.
Anyone who can help is asked to make a donation via PayPal at www.ppprdollar.com or mail donations to P.O. Box 7895, St. Petersburg, FL 33734.
Meanwhile, police are investigating the animal abuse case. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (727) 893-7780.
Images via Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue