INSIDE EDITION Investigates Pet Dumping

Across the country, an increasing number of people are abandoning dogs and cats. This is often because they've hit hard times. There are humane ways to surrender your pet, but Lisa Guerrero is tracking cases that will break your heart.

Sadly, more and more people are abandoning dogs and cats at animal shelters across the country. And while there are proper and humane ways to surrender your pet, the INSIDE EDITION I-Squad has spent months tracking heartbreaking cases of animal cruelty caught on tape.

Surveillance cameras caught Beverly Greenwood and Jean Norton dumping dozens of dogs and cats, many of them sick, at a Louisiana animal shelter in 2011.

But they're not alone. Cameras at a closed Alabama shelter were rolling when a man carried puppy after defenseless puppy by the scruffs of their neck and left them outside the front door. Scared and confused, the puppies scrambled under the man's truck as their heartless owner drove off. Just four of the six puppies were ever found.

INSIDE EDITION obtained surveillance footage from an Oregon Humane Society shelter that caught a different man ditching a diaper box at the front door; written on the front of the box: "Free Dog." That's right, the man had taped shut the box with an adorable pooch inside.

But Greenwood and Norton may be the worst serial dog dumpers in the U.S.A.

Despite clearly posted warning signs, night after night, Norton and Greenwood abandoned dog car loads of sick and mangy animals at the Capitol Area Animal Welfare Shelter (CAAWS) in Baton Rouge, LA.  

But what the dog dumpers didn't know was that a surveillance camera was recording them every time they showed up. And shockingly, over the past year alone, the camera caught them abandoning almost one hundred animals all in the dead of night.

"I'm 100% positive they knew they were doing something wrong. All of the animals that we've received have been in horrible, horrible condition," said Glenda Parks, who manages CAAWS.

Another CAAWS volunteer told INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero, "You get angry, you get very angry. They need help. They're obviously hoarders."

So where did all those abandoned dogs come from?

INSIDE EDITION has learned that Norton and Greenwood, who have been convicted of animal cruelty charges in the past, surprisingly run their own animal adoption program at their farm located in Mississippi – a two hour drive from CAAWS.

When INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero caught up with them, the dog dumpers had a hard time explaining themselves.

Guerrero asked, "Why would you do this?"

"All I'm doing is the best I can do for these animals," said Greenwood.

"But you do admit that you have been dumping animals?" asked Guerrero.

"Oh yeah. Of course. I was wrong, it was illegal. I shouldn't have done it," answered Greenwood.

Sadly, Parks says many of the dogs they abandoned were so sick they had to be euthanized. But there is some good news: CAAWS volunteers say a handful of dogs have been nursed back to health and are now in loving homes.

Jean Norton has since pled guilty to animal cruelty charges for the dumping incidents and was banned from owning any pets for eighteen months. There is still an outstanding warrant for the arrest of Beverly Greenwood.

If you can no longer care for your pet, here are some tips on the best ways to properly and legally surrender it at your local shelter:

  • First notify your family members, trusted friends, neighbors and co-workers that you may need to find a new home for your pet. Often times this simple networking can help you find a loving and caring home for your pet.
  • Laws vary by state, so it's important to gather all the facts you can on the proper surrender procedures in your home town. Typically your local Humane Society or animal shelter can provide you with this information.
  • Another tip: tell your local veterinarian that you are having trouble caring for your pet – many times vets have their own networks they can use to find the animal a good home.
  • Always check whether or not the shelter you choose to surrender your pet is a "Kill" or "No-Kill" facility. Just because you leave the pet at a shelter, doesn't necessarily mean it will eventually be found a new home.
  • Never leave abandoned pets outside a closed facility. While surrendering a pet is never an easy situation, shelter workers are typically prepared to deal with and help you through this often emotional situation.