HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville Animal Services has five criminal cases involving 10 dogs. The director of Huntsville Animal Shelter said in her 15 years, there has just been one other time they've seen this many cases of animal cruelty.
"We get dogs that need vet care but not usually this bad," said Karen Sheppard.
On Tuesday, six severely neglected dogs were found.
"Four of the dogs were so starved and emaciated, their body had eaten all of their muscle away," Sheppard said. "The animals are curled because they are not moving a lot and aren't strong."
They were crammed in tiny crates and left chained up outside. Besides lesions on their paws and sores on their bodies, their ears were solid black from flies biting them.
Sheppard said 99 percent of all of their cruelty cases come from people like you tipping off the shelter.
"A lot of times, dogs are in the backyard and no one lives in the home so they are forgotten, but there is no excuse and they are being forgotten and therefore go days without being fed and sadly, I'm sure many of them die, so please let us know," Sheppard said.
Although she's thankful for people reporting the abuse, she says this is a sign of a growing problem in the community.
"What we often see and what we saw in one of these cases, it was three female dogs and one male dog, and you just assume that the goal there is, and none of them are spayed or neutered, is that they are going to have litters of puppies to make money, and it hurts my heart and hurts my mind thinking of other dogs that might be in the same situation and you just don't know about it," she said.
The dog owners should be in court in less than 30 days for a judge to decide who will take ownership of the animals.
Right now, the shelter has 52 dogs up for adoption.
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