The numbers of dumped dogs in the city is reaching epidemic levels according to Lisa Cutting of Ocean View Kennels, which takes in stray and surrendered animals for the City of Revere.
That’s on top of two puppies three weeks ago that were found dead in a trash bag behind a gas station on North Shore Road.
“I’ve had 10 dogs in 13 days,” she said on Monday. “We’re getting way more than ever and they’re coming to us in much worse condition too. It’s sad and it’s breaking my heart. They’re all kinds. It’s not just like it’s the Pit Bulls anymore. They’re Shepherds; we had an emaciated Maltese and a Yorkie. The Yorkie had to be sedated to be groomed and may be the worst case of neglect the state has seen in a long time. We estimate it had 20 to 25 pounds of matted hair and it’s only a 13 pound dog. We couldn’t even tell if she had eyeballs until we got down into the fur. She wants to be happy, but she’s hurting.”
Cutting has a series of horror stories that she said are hard to watch and are becoming financially difficult to care for.
She recounts the story of a couple that split up, and before leaving, one of them hung the dog from a tree.
“The dog is still alive,” said Cutting. “The woman was trying to be mean to her ex. The dog has a hole in its neck now, though.”
Then there are the special needs dogs, such as a Shepherd who was abandoned at BJ’s last weekend.
The dog had gone deaf and had severe infections in its ears.
“I knew something was wrong because I was yelling for the dog and it wasn’t hearing me,” she said. “Later, we found some really awful infections in the dog’s ears. It had been a pet. We could tell. But instead of dealing with the problem, someone just decided to dump the dog by the marsh.”
The stories go on and on, and Cutting said she is convinced that the situation is getting worse. She added that now is the time when people tend to dump their dogs or surrender them.
“People think it’s the summer, but the numbers get worse around Christmas and after,” she said. “It’s the throwaways. They get dogs for the holidays or birthdays and then they don’t want it later. It’s a lot of work. When they find they don’t want it or they get bored of it, they just dump it somewhere.
“It’s also that vet bills are high,” she continued. “People don’t want to pay for their dogs. They’d rather get rid of them.”
All of it adds up to some good Christmas advice – either get a dog that’s low maintenance or don’t get a dog at all.
“Do your research,” said Cutting. “Don’t get a dog you can’t afford. If you want a Yorkie, don’t get it if you can’t afford to have it groomed regularly. It’s education – getting the proper dog for a persons’ lifestyle or just not getting a dog at all.”
One of the problems, she said, is that there is more access to dogs – sometimes free dogs – than ever before.
“I think people have gotten worse in their neglect of animals,” she said. “It’s so easy to get a dog what with the puppy mills and Craig’s List and other things like Facebook. They do look cute in the stores and people feel bad for the ones on Craig’s List. They might see a free dog on social media and think it’s a good deal. However, they don’t realize they have to feed it, care for it and pay attention to it. People bite off more than they can chew and then they dump them.”
The story adds up to something very sad, but Cutting said one silver lining is that they have many people who choose to adopt these dogs and provide them with a good home. Right now, she said, the kennel is in dire need of good homes for abandoned dogs. To look into adopting a dog from Ocean View, contact Cutting at (781) 284-7800.