Dumping it and just taking off. That’s the ultimate betrayal to a dog.
Sadly, that’s exactly what happened to a German shepherd mix at a Louisiana Shell gas station on Highway 11 in Slidell, outside New Orleans. The dog desperately chased after his owner’s blue and white pickup truck for more than a mile, weaving through and dodging traffic, in an attempt to catch up with presumably beloved owners.
A good Samaritan, Laurie Hollis, was able to take a photo of the sad tale with her cell phone. Her heart-wrenching photo of the dog chasing the truck went viral after being posted on Facebook, with many news stations reporting about the tale. Hollis recounted the story to ABC News.
“I saw a gentleman walking around the gas station with the dog following him, and I thought he was homeless. He then sat on the back of this pickup truck and talked to the dog, who seemed to be very in tune to what he was saying. Next thing I know, another man comes out, he tells the dog to ‘get out’ and ‘go away.’ He shut the tail gate, and the dog tries to put its paws up to climb, but he just enters the truck and they back up real fast almost hitting the dog and speed off.”
Hollis tried to follow the dog and the truck in her car, but lost them. When she returned to the Shell station to question an employee about what he knew about the dog or its owners, Hollis stated that the employee unbelievably replied, “The dog lives in the hood, and you need to mind your own f****** business.”
But the story gets even more bizarre, as it turns out that the dog is no stranger to being dumped. The Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson, recounted to ABC News that what they discovered about the dog owner’s history with animals was “incredulous,”
“A local reporter found the owners, and we’ve discovered it’s not uncommon at all for this family to abandon the dog at the station and let it chase their truck. They’ve done this multiple times and apparently think it’s no big deal, and they don’t seem to care about the welfare of the dog. We’re going over there later today to educate them about the dangers they’re putting their dog and motorists through. We’re hoping to get a citation issued through our local animal control against the owners for having their dog at large.”
Dorson indicated that abandoning a pet is not acceptable, and is a punishable offense, though it’s not clear what charges, if any, will specifically be filed against Butterball’s owners. He stated the following, according to CNN.
“If people feel they can no longer care for a pet, all they have to do is surrender him or her to a nearby rescue group or shelter, rather than abandon the poor animal at some random location, where their chances of survival are almost zero. This is truly a cowardly act and a punishable offense.”
Dorson also noted that, unfortunately, many animals are abandoned in this manner, despite the fact that they could be killed in traffic or otherwise perish in the elements and that they could cause chaos on the roadways, including potentially deadly accidents. He stated the following, noting that if the dog is found, it may be placed with a loving owner.
“Unfortunately, we routinely receive these type of reports, where dogs are dumped from a car or truck and left to fend for themselves along highways or back country roads. As we know all too well, people can be cruel and heartless.”
The owners’ names have not been released, and it’s not clear whether the dog, named Butterball, ever made it safely home this time.
Another abandoned dog has become a hero. According to an Inquisitr article, a dog who was dumped in a south Dallas park to fend for himself became a savior by leading rescue workers to a litter of sick puppies, who were ultimately saved, as was the dog who appropriately was given the moniker “Hero.”
What do you think should become of Butterball? Should the shepherd mix be able to remain with owners who allegedly routinely abandon it? What penalty, if any, do you think owners who abandon dogs should face?
[Photo Courtesy ABC News]