Sioux Falls, SD
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is seeing a late-summer surge in abandoned pets. It's not just dogs and cats that are being left to fend for themselves.
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is putting out a call for people to donate food for the pets being sheltered there. They need dog and puppy chow along with kitten food. There are a lot of extra mouths to feed at the Humane Society, including a horse that's on a special diet.
Ladybug was all skin and bones when she arrived at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society after being abandoned in a farm field two weeks ago.
"She was just constantly losing weight; starving to death, basically," Humane Officer Andy Oestreich said.
Ladybug was withering away because she can't graze in the pasture like other horses. She's missing her back teeth and that restricts her to a soft-chow diet. Ladybug is making strides in her recovery, having regained 75 pounds.
"Right now, she's a very expensive, older horse to care for and that's probably why she was dumped is because of the cost of taking care of Ladybug," Oestreich said.
The rising pet population at the Humane Society includes this dog that was left inside a parked car during the Sioux Empire Fair.
"The temperature in the car was 130 degrees and we have no owner for that dog. That poor little thing and it's just the cutest little thing," Oestreich said.
Someone left this litter of cats by the roadside.
"I know the times are hard, but Good Lord, there's a Humane Society. Contact the Humane Society," Oestreich said.
Now that kids are off to school, there are fewer people at home to take care of pets, so the Humane Society often sees a spike of abandoned pets at this time of year.
"Then you're leaving this little doggie home alone and he's chewing the couch up while they're gone, and they end up here," Oestreich said.
So many pets, so many survivors that have overcome the odds of abandonment, all looking for loving, new homes.
If you have information about Ladybug or the dog that was left inside the car, you're urged to contact the Humane Society.