Left to Die: 3 abandoned puppies lead to crackdown on unlicensed breeders

WSVN — The discovery of three sick puppies abandoned in a South Florida park has led to a crackdown on unlicensed breeders. 7’s Robbin Simmons has the Nightteam special assignment report, “Left to Die.”

What one woman found in this Hollywood park left her in tears.

Cindy Hunt, Naia’s Pet Rescue: “My volunteer called and she was crying and said, just said, ‘Can we come and get these puppies?'”

Three young puppies were tied to a tree abandoned, sick and in bad shape.

Cindy Hunt: “The white one got sick first, very sick, so we took her to the vet, and they said she had parvo.”

All three of the puppies were infected with parvo, a disease which can lead to a long and agonizing death.

Dr. Ember Moreno, Sunshine Animal Hospital: “They had a lot of weight loss because of their condition, and they were having vomit and diarrhea.”

Doctors at Sunshine Animal Hospital were able to save two of the dogs, but one of them died.

Cindy Hunt: “I believe they were dumped because they were sick. I really believe that’s why they were dumped.”

Cindy Hunt helped save the puppies. She volunteers for the Naia’s Pet Rescue, and they set out to find the owner.

Cindy Hunt: “I put on Facebook, ‘Please, has anybody seen these dogs?’ and ‘Can anybody help? They’ve been dumped.'”

One person posted that the dogs belonged to a friend, but when rescuers asked more questions, that person deleted the post. Then — someone else came forward

Cindy Hunt: “I kept putting it out there, ‘Please share or help us find whose dogs these were,’ and somebody came on and said, ‘I found them on Craigslist,’ sent me a picture, the person’s name, phone number and address.”

At that point, the authorities got involved.

John Chidsey, Hollywood Code Enforcement: “We take it very serious, and we will follow up on any leads that we get.”

Hollywood Animal Control officers and the code manager called the people with the Craigslist ad.

John Chidsey: “There was an agreement to purchase a four-week old puppy, which is illegal. This puppy was actually still nursing with a bottle. That’s how young it was.”

They were shocked when they showed up for the buy to see how young the seller was.

John Chidsey: “A 16-year-old, we were pretty surprised she would be involved in this type of activity.”

But it didn’t take long for officers to realize she knew what she was doing.

John Chidsey: “So she was very knowledgeable about not only raising the dogs at a young age, but actually selling them before they are old enough to be sold.”

The girl was arrested and charged with unlawful sale of dog less than eight weeks of age, failure to provide tests and vaccines for a puppy being offered for sale, failure to provide official certificate of veterinary inspection at time of sale and a city ordinance violation — breeding of pets.

John Chidsey: “She’s claiming it was one litter, but some of the anonymous information leads us to believe that this has been going on for some time.”

So far, police have not linked the puppies for sale in this home with the ones abandoned in the park.

John Chidsey: “There is no way we can say for sure, but there is that possibility.”

So the search continues.

John Chidsey: “We are hoping we get some more leads based on this news coverage and that people who may recognize the location from the video will call us.”

A search is also on for the rescuers, hoping to find a “fur-ever” home for these puppies who were left to die.

Cindy Hunt: “I mean, I think there’s no difference abandoning an animal as there is abandoning a child; that’s my thinking. And I know a lot of people aren’t gonna agree with that.”

Naia’s has already spent several thousand dollars trying to save the puppies. If you’d like to help, go to: http://www.naiasrescue.org/

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