Police seek public’s help in abandoned dog case

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Axel, a 12-week-old Chihuahua puppy, was found by the side of the road. Courtesy photo

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

North Attleborough Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the person or persons responsible for leaving a Chihuahua puppy by the side of the road.

According to NAPD Officer Julie Lowe said the 12-week-old Applehead Chihuahua—named Axel—was found by the side of Draper Avenue Saturday afternoon in a blue pet carrier by a person walking their own dog. It’s estimated that the dog was there for around a day, due in part to the fact that the ground under the carrier was free of the snow that fell on Friday. There was snow and ice inside the carrier.

I was enraged,” said Lowe. “There’s pounds and pet shelters that will take in a puppy.”

The puppy is now at the North Attleborough Animal Shelter getting medical care and is not ready to be adopted at this time.

Animal Control Officer Felicia Camara said that the puppy was malnourished and dehydrated, weighing only 1.4 pounds. Around 2-2.5 pounds is the healthy weight for the puppy, but added that Axel has gained weight since being found. The puppy had worms, a common ailment among newborns, as well as mange, an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by the Demodex mite. The mite is found on most dogs, but a healthy diet can prevent the inflammation.

Camara said the dog is very social and playful and has responded well to treatment, which has included de-worming and antibiotics to treat any underlying issues. Axel has also gotten a rabies vaccine and will get a distemper treatment once he’s healthy enough. Camara said that mange can take weeks to develop and is a sign of neglect.

I just don’t understand,” said Camara. “I’ll never understand.”

Police posted information to social media Monday evening and have received many requests to adopt, but no leads as of yet. Draper Avenue is a well-traveled area, but there are no cameras, and the lack of a precise time when the animal was left would make it hard to identify a suspect. Lowe said that a suspect would be charged with animal cruelty, which can lead to a sentence of five years in state prison and a fine of $2,500.

It is unknown for how long he was there for,” the post read.

The original post has been shared more than 1,800 times and received nearly 400 comments. Many of those who commented are outraged over the dog being left in the cold and wanted to see them held accountable. The temperature that day ranged from around 12 in the morning to a high of 32.

To say this is wrong would be an understatement,” said one person.

If you recognize this puppy and know the previous owner, please contact Officer Julie Lowe at 508-695-1212 or jcannata@nattleboro.com. Any and all help/tips in finding the person/s responsible will be greatly appreciated.

If someone has a pet that they can no longer take care of and need to surrender, they should call the North Attleborough Animal Shelter at 508-699-0128.