Abandoned Pets in Summerdale AL Need Help

This is a terrible story of suffering and neglect.  If you choose to click the links, be aware that some of the images on the videos may be disturbing to sensitive readers.

On Thursday night, police officers stormed into the Purple Hearted Puppies Animal shelter in Summerdale. They were on a rescue mission.

Officials said inside were more than 200 dogs, cats, and horses which had gone without food and water for two weeks.

The mother and adult daughter who reportedly operated Purple Hearted Puppies left town 2 weeks ago, leaving hundreds of caged pets to fend for themselves.  There was plenty of food in bags and cans right outside the cages, but no one came to distribute the food.  Dozens of pets starved to death with food in sight:

On a bag of food, claw marks were clearly seen where cats desperately tried to open it.

Outside, dogs resorted to eating grass and digging holes to allow water to pool, so they had something to drink.

When officers got inside the place, they started throwing food into all the cages as fast as they could.  Some of the dogs had resorted to cannibalism.

Many of the animals were found lying on their own feces. Some had to drink their own urine.

One dog was found in a pool of blood.

The owners say they had a worker who was supposed to be caring for the pets and had been checking in daily to let them know all was well.  Police checked out the story and say the worker quit 3 weeks ago and has documented evidence proving the women were aware he wasn’t taking care of their pets anymore.  Both women have been charged with animal cruelty and additional charges are expected.  A number of pets had to be euthanized due to the neglect.

In one of the videos, you can see an officer trying to pour dry cat food into a cage and the cats are desperately reaching out and mewing – it’s heartbreaking.

Several organizations are helping the pets including the Baldwin Co Humane Society and Red Rover.  I’m sure they could use donations and fosters/adopters to help these poor pets.

22 thoughts on “Abandoned Pets in Summerdale AL Need Help

  1. Was this really a rescue organization? Or an animal hoarder that just couldn’t take it any more? Were the pets posted online like on petfinder and up for adoption?

    They must have been out in the country away from any neighbors or surely someone would have heard the animals or smelled them and known something was not right. So sad.

      1. It’s – I don’t know. Most articles about the case refer to it as a shelter or rescue and there is a report of a woman who had left her cat with them for him to be rehomed, but the Press-Register has consistently referred to it a breeding operation. Red Rover hasn’t posted about it yet, so I’ve been waiting to see what they call it.

  2. Evil. I can understand one person going over the edge, losing her mind for whatever reason and walking away, but both of them? That’s evil.

    1. I’m with you.. I can’t watch either. Since some the animals are going to Baldwin.. and the story being so big.. the animals there should be helped pretty quickly. This is really, really bad. Shame on those women.. I hope they hang their butts. I’d love to see photos of these women! Bet they didn’t go with out a meal!

  3. Poor animals, that’s a horrible situation! :(

    Its really kind of dangerous for them to “throw food as fast as they can” at starved animals though. You are supposed to feed small meals throughout the day to get the body used to food again. If you just start stuffing them with all kinds of food they will just throw it up.

  4. Horrifying, just horrifying.

    It’s strange that the earlier post today was about HSUS because, at the very end of the Fox10 piece, there’s a line saying HSUS “will also be on-site to assist.”

    1. More like “on-site to ham up for the cameras so they can earn money on the backs of these suffering animals”

    2. I noticed that but since it’s written in future tense, I figured I’d mention the groups who were there now as they are the ones no doubt needing immediate donations. If the HSUS media entourage shows up to wear their logo jackets and carry matted dogs in front of the cameras for 10 minutes, we will surely be bombarded with images and reports. They know how to ask for their own money.

    3. Even if HSUS volunteers stick around for a week or two assisting the (far more qualified at emergency sheltering) Red Rover, they will exaggerate their role in the rescue and the amount of money spent on the effort.

      Last year, HSUS assisted in the case of 700+ cats seized from a Florida sanctuary. So did many others, including Red Rover, local shelters, and an army of volunteer veterinarians. HSUS defenders have boasted of their role “leading the rescue” countless times. Just last week, HSUS Emerging Media specialist Sarah Barnett commented (on Big Journalism) that her organization “spent nearly half a million dollars on rescuing 700 cats and finding all the adoptable/treatable ones homes.”

      Half a million? It’s not the first time that ridiculous figure has been claimed for an HSUS “rescue.” Just as with Katrina, the
      bloated numbers and phony claims cannot be substantiated with any kind of proof. After the cat adoption event, publicist Jordan Crump told the media that HSUS spent “a few hundred thousand dollars flying staff and volunteers to and from the scene for months.” What a selfish, stupid and wasteful form of “helping”! Just before the event, Sarah Barnett, one of those flown, twittered about “our cats” and defended HSUS’s special fundraising campaign to defray the expenses incurred.

      Donate to the groups doing the real work and incurring the actual expenses. Because HSUS doesn’t want you to.

  5. Those are truly heartless people. There is a special place in hell for people that treat animals that way. I guarantee you they didn’t hesitate to collect money for boarding those poor families’ pets either. I wish they could get a life sentence for what they did.

  6. This is so sad. I just adopted a dog from the Oakland Animal shelter this weekend. I wish I could adopt all the animals at all the shelters. I would like to donate to help these animals. Do you know the best org to contact?

  7. I read about this last night and my heart just broke. I already sent in a donation to Baldwin. I saw the video and the image of that first little skinny white dog will forever be tattooed in my brain. I wish I could take them all home with me. Some people are just not responsible enough to be caring for any other living creature.

  8. Can’t even pretend that I could watch this, as we have lost two residents loved ones over the last two weeks, and I am already heavy hearted. Someone please let me know if help can be provided by offering a place to go to someone small.

  9. I’m not even sure what to say. It is one thing to become a hoarder and have some mental health issues which create the problem. It is quite another to simply walk away and leave animals in a position where they resort to consuming each other. No. I didn’t watch the video. I can’t go there.

    I hope these people are found. Alabama laws on cruelty and neglect are pretty short and not very descriptive. That doesn’t mean that hundreds of counts of cruelty, abuse and neglect cannot and should not be brought against these people. But for their actions, none of this would have happened. It is a crime to behave this way and I hope that they are held accountable to some degree and that some good comes to the region as a result of this.


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