RUSKIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Authorities say a woman carelessly dumped animals on the side of the road just yards from an animal shelter.
Now the search is on to track them down and the woman could face criminal charges.
With so many great agencies throughout Tampa Bay, there is no reason to ever dump animals off on the side of the road. So officials hope this woman and the public learns a lesson from this story.
On Tuesday morning, a woman drove to the C.A.R.E. Animal Shelter in Ruskin looking for help.
She could no longer care for her 10 cats and an elderly dog.
“She’d had some of them for several years,” said animal control director Roger Mills.
Unfortunately, the shelter was full. She received a list of other shelters that would gladly take them. Instead, she drove 50 yards down the road and dumped them into the woods.
The shelter shared images of her car online and authorities soon tracked her down.
“She said she did not know it was illegal to abandon the animals and she had since tried to go back and pick some of them up,” said Mills.
Authorities recovered five cats. They’re being cared for at the Pet Resource Center. Officials are still looking for the others.
“If they’re in your home and you’re feeding them, they’re depending on you. So if you drop them off somewhere in the woods…they don’t know where to find food. That’s a learned trait. So if they’re at home getting fed every day, and you drop them off, now they’re wondering where food is going to come from,” said Mills.
The woman has not been identified. Authorities say she’ll likely face misdemeanor charges. She could be added to the animal abuse registry.
If you ever need to surrender an animal, contact your local animal shelter or humane society.
“If you have animals you can’t take care of, there’s always locations available to take them,” said Mills.