Kim Beck left her Mont Pleasant home Tuesday morning and spotted a milk crate she hadn’t seen before.
Then she saw what was in it.
“I went to get in my car, but then I saw little eyes sticking out the little tops of their heads,” Beck recalled later.
Inside the milk crate, near her Seventh Avenue home, were three puppies. One had already died.
“It was awful,” she said.
The surviving puppies seemed cold. She went into her house and brought towels out.
“I wrapped the dogs in towels and them moved them to another container and called police and they came,” she said.
The surviving puppies were taken to Hernas Veterinary Clinic for treatment.
The 5- to 6-week-old hound mixes had a guarded prognosis Tuesday afternoon, according to a veterinary technician. They were suffering from malnutrition, worms and exposure to the elements. By mid-afternoon, they still had no names, something the technician said is considered bad luck until an animal’s condition is stabilized.
Beck said she called to check on the puppies about 5 p.m. and learned they had to be put down. A representative of the Hernas clinic couldn’t be reached to confirm that Tuesday evening.
Earlier, city police Lt. Mark McCracken confirmed an investigation is under way into how the puppies were left there. McCracken said the individual could be charged with animal cruelty under Buster’s Law and possibly face a felony. He confirmed the puppies showed no signs of trauma.
At Hernas Veterinary Clinic mid-afternoon, technician Chuck Cravens described the puppies as alert but scared. He couldn’t be reached later.
But on the general issue of abandoned dogs, Cravens said it happens all too often.
The city brings Hernas one or two a week, with the city paying for initial shots and five days of boarding. After that, they try to get them to shelters or rescue groups.
Older dogs can be harder to place, Cravens said. He noted one adult dog brought in recently has improved markedly, enough to earn her name.
Becky, a pit-boxer mix, was brought there about two weeks ago, weighing 20 pounds. At a year old, she was supposed to weigh 60 pounds, Cravens said. Becky has since doubled her weight and is expected to be ready for a home soon.
“She’s full of energy,” Cravens said. “She’s a very well-behaved, high-energy dog, lots of fun.”
Regarding the two puppies that survived the morning, Beck recalled walking her own dog and not noticing the crate. Then, 15 minutes later, when she went to leave, she spotted them. She called her husband, screaming.
The Becks’ dog, Jackson, was recently rescued, she said; the couple adopted him from Broadalbin-based Helping Paws Rescue.