Deputies Investigate Viral Photo of Woman Dumping Dogs on Road

Published 03/24 2014 07:09PM

Updated 03/24 2014 07:20PM

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. -- Dog dumping is an age-old problem for anyone living in a rural area. But, a Facebook photo of a woman dumping three white puppies in the middle of the road went viral and caused an uproar these last few days.

It was the blatant nature of the act that caught many people off guard puppies being put out to fend for themselves in plain sight.

Deputies have already tracked down the woman responsible and are interviewing her later this week.

This is not a new problem for the county

"It happened right before your eyes," says Cindy Capps.

Puppies dumped in the in the middle of the road, in the middle of the day.

"A woman just stopped in front of our house and dumped three puppies," explained Capps.

Cindy Capps says her fiance was at their Rivercut home and their barking dog alerted him. He snapped the photo from their second floor and it has since gone viral in the community.

"He was able to get a couple shots of her dumping the puppies off into the street and a shot of her pulling away so he knew she actually was leaving," says Capps.

Capps and a coworker ran home.

"So we corralled all three of them up," she says. "It went from being her problem to to being our problem and it was a huge responsibility with three puppies."

Capps wanted to find the woman who dumped them.

"So we had the pictures and we posted them on Facebook and then it just took on a life of its own," says Capps. 

What Capps didn't expect was how hateful the Facebook posts became, some directed at the woman, some at her.

"She has taken full responsibility for what she has done, I do not know her circumstances. She did not deny doing it."

Therein lies the problem says County Commissioner Harold Bengsch, who had a decades long career heading up the health department.

"For the most part dogs are not the problem it's the owners or people that have dogs become the problem the dog is a victim," says Bengsch.

Now, Greene County has no animal control. It was eliminated in 2012.

Bengsch says the animal control position in the county cost about $100,000 a year for salary and equipment.

"When we went through our last series of budget cuts animal control was one among others that had to be eliminated for us to have a balanced budget," says Bengsch.

Karen Prescott with the Springfield Greene County Health Department said the county animal control person would the Springfield "urban service area." 

"Which was basically just those neighborhoods directly adjacent to the city limits so it didn't cover the whole county except for bite investigations," says Prescott.

Bengsch said despited budget issues, this remains a priority.

"We won't forget about this because we consider it a really important issue for us to address," says Bengsch.

In the last two years of service in the county alone animal control dealt with nearly 2,000 calls, nearly 500 impounded animals.

Unlike many dumped animals these puppies had help.

"The puppies have all been taken care of, we've got three great homes for them. This ended up being a happy ending," says Capps.

She says it's important to her that law enforcement be responsible for taking care of this issue since they have already tracked this woman down. Capps says she was put off by some of the hateful comments that ended up online.

The Greene County Sheriff's Department says the woman responsible will be interviewed by deputies later this week and could face charges of animal cruelty or knowingly releasing an animal.

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