Abandoned puppies available for adoption

Animals found in Highlands Ranch trash can are ready for homes

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The four surviving puppies found abandoned in a trash can at Highland Heritage Park in May are now available for adoption through the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. A fifth puppy did not survive being abandoned.

The two male and two female dogs found alive in the Highlands Ranch park are believed to be shih tzu-Lhasa apso mixes. They have spent the last month-plus in foster care at Douglas County Animal Control Officer Caitlyn Cahill’s Bennett horse ranch.

Cahill, who wasn’t working when the puppies were discovered May 21, brought them home a few days later after her mother offered to help nurse them to health.

The puppies, which were estimated to be between three and seven days old when they were found, are each beginning to show off their individual personalities, Cahill said.

There’s Gus Gus, the go-getter of the group, who has been the first to do everything and consistently underfoot. There’s Brutus, the cuddly runt of the litter. There’s Lilo, the loner. And there’s Bridgett, the playful one of the bunch, who likes to wrestle.

According to the humane society’s website, the puppies will remain at Cahill’s ranch until they are ready to go home with their new owners and will not be at the humane society for viewing.

Those who are interested in adopting are required to fill out an application at www.hsppr.org/whatsnew and mail or drop off the completed application to Douglas County Animal Services, 4556 Castleton Court in Castle Rock, or fax it to 303-484-4172. The deadline for applications to be received is 10 a.m. July 22.

All valid applications received by that time will then be entered into a random drawing and four winners will be selected and contacted. The adoption fee for each puppy is $500, which helps to cover surgeries, procedures and care for all animals that are cared for by the humane society.

There are other animals available for adoption through the humane society for a lesser fee and they can be viewed at www.hsppr.org.

All dogs adopted out from the humane society are spayed or neutered, have received their initial vaccinations, come with a voucher for a free veterinary exam at a participating veterinarian, 45 days of pet health insurance, a microchip and a one-year dog license, depending on local ordinances.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is still asking for help in finding the person responsible for abandoning the puppies and Sgt. Erica Dalton said that the perpetrator would likely be charged with felony aggravated cruelty of animals.

“We have had a couple leads, but they have been dead ends,” Dalton said. “This is definitely still an open investigation. One of the puppies died a needless death.”

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for any information leading to an arrest, and the reporting person can remain anonymous if they desire. If someone has information, they can contact Douglas County Animal Law Enforcement at 303-660-7529 or contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).

Cahill said the department hopes to be able to use this “unfortunate incident to educate pet owners and prevent something like this from happening again.”

“There are so many opportunities available for people who don’t want to have a litter of puppies or don’t want to keep the dogs for one reason or another,” she said. “Neutering and spaying are always a great option, and you can always take unwanted animals to a shelter. We have a long list of resources we can provide if people don’t know where to turn, too.”

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