A mother dog and her six puppies were left outside the Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in Fruitland Saturday afternoon in 97-degree heat. They were left while no one was at the sanctuary from noon until 5 p.m.
Alice Wybert, president of the organization, said the puppies look well fed, but the mother is thin, and her ears are fly-bitten. She appears to be a pit bull mix.
"It's just too hot to have left any animals," Wybert said.
The mother was tied to a tree, while the puppies were running loose. Water was left for them.
The mother at first growled at volunteers who approached her and the puppies. Wybert said Saturday night she hoped to be able to move the mother into a pen and contain the puppies there, too.
The message on the answering machine at the no-kill facility cautions that it does not have any room and pleads with people not to dump off any animals. The shelter currently houses more than 90 cats and kittens and with the additions now has 12 dogs and seven puppies.
Wybert said animals occasionally are dropped off in similar ways. A few weeks ago someone left a pet carrier with four kittens under the tree with no food or water.
Missouri Department of Transportation workers who found three kittens on an offramp recently brought them to Wybert along with a gratefully received donation.
Donations to help care for the dogs can be sent to the animal sanctuary at 359 Cree Lane, Fruitland, Mo. 63755.
335-6611, extension 137