Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Daniel Heffner
Campbell Co., VA - The animal shelter in Campbell County says people are dropping off their animals after hours and leaving them abandoned. Sometimes they leave them overnight outside and alone until employees return the next day.
They say it happens a couple times a month for three reasons: Owners cannot make it during hours of operation, they are too embarrassed or they think it is going to cost money. Officers say it is causing a lot of frustration.
"He's gotten too big and he's tearing up stuff in the neighborhood," said pet owner Tom Boley.
Boley is doing it the right way. He dropped off his dog Skunk because he can no longer take care of him.
"I'm disabled and I can't pull and tug on him and I'm not going to keep him chained up all the time," said Boley.
The animal shelter says they are seeing a reoccurring problem of people doing it the wrong way. Officials showed us some surveillance video of someone dropping a crate off outside the shelter. It is something Boley cannot imagine.
"It's cruel to the animal. You never know what's going to happen to them. They could potentially hurt somebody or hurt themselves, get out in the road and get killed," said Boley.
Animal Control officer Benny David says it is enough to make you wonder.
"They come in the middle of the night and leave animals tied out front or in crates," said David.
This causes three problems:
1) Overcrowding because there is a 10 day holding period in case the owner comes forward.
2) Lack of knowledge of the animals' health and If the animal is sick or old.
"We have to spend county funds to take it to the vet to have it examined and treated," said David.
David says this can cost hundreds of dollars, which is why he says let them know if you have a problem because they are willing to help.
"If you can't make it here and it's absolutely necessary, we'll make some kind of arrangement to get up with you," said David.
David says there is no cost to drop a pet off. You just need to fill out some paperwork. If you do drop a pet off without going through the proper procedure, David says you can be charged with littering and abandonment which he says could add up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.