Pet dumping on the rise in Massachusetts
UNDATED (WHDH) -- More and more people in Massachusetts are abandoning their pets, leaving them behind in horrible places.
Police say it's happening at an alarming rate.
Maria, a 2-year-old Chihuahua, was stuffed inside a backpack and left behind a Waltham dumpster.
Animal control officers say it's happening more and more: pets abandoned by their owners in potentially dangerous ways.
It happens so often, it even has a name: “pet dumping.”
“We've seen more and more animals being abandoned,” said Alan Borgal, Boston Animal Rescue League.
One pug was discovered in Revere, scared and shivering inside a cage on the side of a road.
A Maltese mix, still in her crate, was discarded behind a building in Everett.
Three kittens and their mom, malnourished and dehydrated, were left behind in a New Bedford apartment.
One precious pooch is lucky to be alive after someone tied him to a tree in the woods in Palmer.
“The dog could have been attacked by wildlife you know they just assumed that these are heavily travelled areas where someone will find the dog and that doesn't always happen," Borgal said.
According to the MSPCA, there were almost 100 cases of pet dumping in Massachusetts last year. Animal officers in Boston say they respond to at least one case a week.
And in New Bedford, animal officer Manny Maciel says he's never seen so many animals being abandoned.
7News went along with him as he answered a call for a dog left in an apartment.
"Well the neighbor moved out and then never came back to get the dog for about three months now," said Flucome Brigges, a neighbor.
Neighbors fed the dog, hoping the owner would return, but she didn't.
Officer Maciel says the motive for abandonment is often money.
“Times are tough and the economy and stuff you know it takes a lot to care for an animal,” Officer Maciel said.
But there are other safer ways to give up a pet.
“All we're doing is asking that you at least call your animal control or shelter and say, ‘I need help, I need someone to care for this animal for me I no longer can,’” Maciel said.
For Maria, there's a happy ending. She’s being adopted by one of her rescuers.