FLORENCE – Four one-week old Rottweiler puppies found in a Florence dumpster have been reunited with their mother and will be looking for good homes sometime soon.
The saga of the newborn puppies began on Tuesday morning when a Florence resident filed a report with the Florence Police Department claiming that his adult Rottweiler and her puppies were taken from his backyard.
A neighbor found the puppies later that day when he was dumping a load of garbage and heard them whimpering in a box. The neighbor contacted the owner and turned the puppies over to him.
The owner brought the dogs to the Pinal County Animal Care and Control Shelter on 11-Mile Corner Road. He subsequently signed the pups over to Animal Care and Control so they may find a rescue to help care for them.
“We had a real mystery on our hands when this started unfolding,” stated Animal Care and Control Director Kaye Dickson. “We were wondering who would do something so cruel as to separate the puppies from their mother and throw them in a dumpster on a 100 degree day. We had a lot of questions and very few answers in the first 24 hours.”
The puppies were found a bit dehydrated, but still alive. The Bark Side Rescue came forward to care for the pups on Wednesday morning, but the mother was still missing. Dickson and her staff acquired pictures of the mother Rottweiler from the owner and placed them on Facebook.
The media picked up on the story from the Facebook posting. Pictures of the puppies and mother were shown on several news sites throughout Phoenix.
“Wednesday afternoon our staff received a call from the Florence Police Department telling us they thought they had found the mother,” Dickson said. “The Florence Police Department then took the Rottweiler to the shelter where staff positively identified the dog as the mother of the puppies.”
The Rottweiler had shown up on The Windmill’s property on Tuesday afternoon. The dog was thirsty and hot, but very friendly. The staff had placed bedding in an office and kept the mother overnight. The next morning, one staff member of The Windmill noticed a picture of the Rottweiler on a website and called the Florence Police Department.
“We were in a race against clock,” Dickson said. “If a mother of puppies does not feed within a short amount of time she will stop producing milk. We were also learning more about the events leading up to the dumping of the puppies and the disappearance of the mother. The investigation started to develop some leads at this point. The owner also voluntarily signed over the mother Rottweiler to us as well. We had a lot of developments in this case in just a 24 hour span.”
The Bark Side Rescue was called back to the shelter to reunite mother and puppies. Late Wednesday afternoon, the mother and puppies were together once again.
“Our biggest fears were whether or not we could get the mother to produce milk and if she would accept the puppies,” Dickson recalled. “In both cases everything turned out just fine. A very good ending to what could have been a heartbreaking story.”
The puppies and their mother are being fostered by the Bark Side Rescue.
According to Director Dickson, the investigation continues with a person of interest being questioned in this case. Dickson said she hopes to forward the case to the County Attorney’s Office early next week.