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Bartholomew County Humane Society and law enforcement investigating illegal animal dumping



Bartholomew County, Indiana – Officials with the Bartholomew County Humane Society say illegal dumping of animals is becoming a major problem in the area.

The issue has gotten so bad in recent weeks that the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office has beefed up patrols outside the shelter.

The Bartholomew County Humane Society has had 11 different animals dumped in four different incidents in the past month at the shelter.

“This is just overwhelming,” said Kirsten VantWoud, the shelter director for the Bartholomew County Humane Society.

The shelter caught many of the incidents on camera.

The latest happened Sunday afternoon. Surveillance video shows a man pulling up to the shelter, taking a box out of a black truck, and illegally dumping it at the front doors of the Bartholomew County Humane Society.

Inside that box were five puppies, left overnight to fend for themselves outside before shelter officials found them the next morning.

“Our staff was gone by that time on Sunday and we came in on Monday morning to find five 4- or 5-weeks old pit mix puppies, no food or water, no blanket, just puppies in the bottom of a large box,” said VantWoud.

And this isn’t the only time animals have been dumped at the Bartholomew County Humane Society in recent weeks.

On Nov. 8, cameras recorded a man carrying two kittens, one by its hind leg, and ditching them behind the shelter while the staff was inside.

Then on Nov. 27, an injured puppy was dumped at the corner of the road near the shelter and left in the rain.

That same day, three more puppies were dumped. It took staff a week to catch them.

“Most shelters have surveillance, we know who you are and we work very closely with law enforcement and we don’t take this lightly at all,” said VantWoud.

VantWoud fears the problem is only going to get worse as we get closer to Christmas.

“We really have to think through when it’s the right time to add animals into our families,” said VantWoud. “I’m a big proponent, I think everybody benefits by having a pet. But, this can be a really great time because the family is all together for several weeks and we’re going to stay put, it’s a good time to get an animal socialized, but it can also be really hectic. And if this is not a good time to add to the family, wait. We’ve always got animals available for adoption. We just really encourage people to think it through. Because it’s a very long commitment, you’re talking about 15 or 20 years for most of these animals and you really have to make sure you’re willing to commit that long.”

VantWoud says if you do have animals that you can’t care for, call your local shelter and they will help you find a solution. She stressed there are always options that are better than dumping an animal.

“Dumping an animal is just never ok. It’s cruel,” said VantWoud. “There’s always an appropriate way to seek help. They need to call their area shelter. Most shelters even if they are limited admission, and even if they can’t take anything in, they have a list of resources that people can follow up with. Preventing unwanted litters, if that’s the problem, because these have all been babies that have been dumped, fixing your animals and animal shelters all over the region have information there on that too.”

Shelter officials say all the dumped animals are doing ok and recovering.

If you’re caught illegally dumping an animal in Bartholomew County, there is a $100 fine.

If you recognize any of the people in the photos you saw in this story, contact the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office.


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