Southern Pines looking for person who dropped puppies at gate overnight

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - When staff at the Southern Pines Animal Shelter arrived at work Thursday they found five-puppies outside the gate and in the street.

A check of the surveillance tape showed what appeared to be a woman drive up and drop the puppies off in two boxes at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. They were left to fend for themselves until the morning when the staff arrived and found them.

A sign outside the shelter advises the public they are being monitored by the camera and leaving animals at the gate is against the law and will be prosecuted.

Shelter manager Theresa Venette says they want to find the person who abandoned the puppies and have contacted the Hattiesburg Police.

"We did file a police report. Some people feel it's overkill, that is unnecessary, but abandoning animals is a misdemeanor and it is punishable by a fine," said Venette. "We really do discourage dropping off animals because it's dangerous not only for the animals but to the people around them.  A passing motorist might swerve to avoid them in the road and have a terrible accident. It really is just best to keep the animals safe and drop them off during regular hours."

Hattiesburg Police spokesperson Lt. Jon Traxler says they are investigating and if caught and convicted they could face a fine of up to $600.

Four of the five puppies are in good health and have already been put up for adoption. They are two-month old Hound mix, both male and female. They can be seen at the shelter on North 31st Avenue.

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