A Miniature Pinscher and her puppy were tied in sandbags and thrown from a moving vehicle onto a desolate road near Watsonville in Northern California on Friday, Feb. 20. The road dead ends at the edge of an agricultural field commonly used for dumping waste. The mother survived, but the impact killed the puppy.
The mother dog is a sable, tan and white Miniature Pinscher, estimated to be about 6 years old by the shelter veterinarian. The puppy was 4 to 6 weeks of age.
Santa Cruz County Animal Control investigators are seeking any information to help them identify who dumped these pets that could have been easily surrendered free of charge to one of the two County animal shelters in Santa Cruz and Watsonville.
According to the shelter veterinarian, the mother dog chewed through the sandbag in which she was trapped in order to get to her puppy. She then chewed through the sandbag that held the puppy and pulled it out in an attempt to save it.
Animal control officers responded to a call of an abandoned dog on Minto Road and found the mother dog lying next to the dead body of her puppy. She was very frightened but would not leave the puppy, Officer Stosuy told CBS-SF.
The mother dog was placed into the animal-control vehicle, but was so distressed that the officers placed the puppy with her. She then became calm during the ride to the shelter.
Officer Stosuy shared the results of the necropsy with reporters, stating that it showed the puppy died of head trauma. According to the report, “In an attempt to revive the puppy, the mother accidentally bit the puppy’s tongue off.”
The shelter veterinarian who performed the necropsy estimated that the puppy had been dead for four to five hours when it was found, meaning that the bags were thrown onto the ground between noon and 1 p.m. on Friday, KTUV reported.
The veterinarian said that the mother was allowed to be present during the necropsy and would periodically walk over to lick the puppy and then go back to the veterinarian, Officer Stosuy said.
“What makes this case so disturbing is that a person would decide that putting dogs in sand bags and throwing them out of a window like garbage was even an option,” Stosuy stated
The mother will remain at the shelter for adoption by a special rescue group but not for open adoption, because she will need care for the rest of her life for a heart murmur unrelated to her abandonment, according to Officer Stosuy.
The person(s) responsible for what happened to these dogs could face two felony counts of animal cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of willingly abandoning an animal, he said.
Investigators are urging anyone with information about the dogs to contact the Santa Cruz County animal shelter at (831) 454-7303.