A New Hampshire animal shelter is attempting to locate the owner of a dog that was abandoned and left tied to a bush outside its offices earlier this week.
On Wednesday, staff and volunteers at the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found an elderly pug tied to a bush outside its building in Stratham. The dog is tan with a black face.
The NHSPCA's Adoption Center is closed on Wednesdays, and usually staff is gone by 5 p.m. But on the day the dog was found, there was an event happening in the training room, and shortly after 7 p.m., a volunteer came in and informed the staff that there was a small dog tied to a bush outside, barking and whining. If not for the event that was happening that night, NHSPCA staff said the dog would have been left out in the cold overnight and could have died of exposure.
The exact time that the dog was abandoned is not known, but it is believed to have been between 5 and 7 p.m. Surveillance tapes are being reviewed.
Abandoning an animal is illegal, and the NHSPCA said it is planning to file a report with the Stratham Police Department.
"We are deeply saddened and frankly, angry that this poor dog was discarded in such an uncaring manner," said Sheila Ryan, the NHSPCA's director of development and marketing. "We are hoping that it turns out that someone found the dog and brought it to us because they couldn’t keep it, but they knew that she would be cared for here. But, we are afraid that given the dog’s condition, it is more likely a case of abandonment, which is always illegal."
The NHSPCA's veterinary staff is assessing the dog's condition, and has already determined that its nails were severely overgrown, it is suffering from a skin condition and has seriously limited mobility which could require surgery.
Staffers have named the dog Lottie, and are asking anyone with information about the animal to contact them at 603-772-2921, Ext. 111. Anyone who wants to help with the care of Lottie or other animals that have been abused or neglected can call 603-772-2921, Ex. 120, donate online at www.nhspca.org, or send a donation by mail to New Hampshire SPCA, PO Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885.