It’s what every parent groans about: Kids beg and plead for a puppy, promising to take it on walks and clean up the yard, but then the adults end up doing the most work. But sometimes, even adults fail to care for their pets.
Three dogs were brought in a plastic tub to the MSPCA’s adoption center on Cape Cod this past May in Centerville after their owner said he no longer had time to care for them. The dogs—Spike, a 9-year-old rat terrier, Chibby, a 7-year-old miniature pinscher, and Buddy, a 10-year-old dachshund—had lived shuttered in a Taunton basement for the last six years.
“It’s clear they were not in an environment that was good for them,’’ said Rob Halpin, MSPCA’s director of public relations.
It’s obvious the animals haven’t seen a veterinarian in years, Halpin said, and they are in need of extensive dental work for damaged and rotting teeth, which is likely to exceed $6,000. Spike also has heartworm, which will be treated before he’s placed for adoption.
The bills will be paid through the MSPCA’s Guardian Angel Fund , which relies on public donations.
“If there’s an opportunity to not only showcase the work we do for homeless animals but also reveal how costly it can be, it’s for the benefit of all the animals in the shelter,’’ he said.
The MSPCA won’t release the dogs’ previous owner’s name because “it’s not a law enforcement case,’’ according to Halpin. Keeping animals locked away in your basement isn’t against the law in Massachusetts. While an unthinkable action to any animal lover, it’s an unfortunate reality.
“We’ve come so far in terms of how we feel about animals—we share emotional space with them—and for people for whom that is unclear, it’s our job at the MSPCA to try to make that clear,’’ he said. “These dogs deserve their basic vet care seen to, and they deserve to be loved and socialized.’’
Despite their harrowing experience, their puppyish-optimism persevered. The dogs are remarkably friendly with each other and with people, Halpin said. Chibby and Buddy are currently up for adoption. Buddy will be placed in a foster home while his more serious health issues are addressed.
Anyone interested in providing a better forever home for one or multiple of these dogs is encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s what gives us hope,’’ Halpin said of the dogs’ positive personalities. “It means their stay in the shelter will be as short as possible, which is what we want for all these animals, but especially for those who’ve had it the worst.’’
See more photos provided by MSPCA-Angell: