PHOENIX -- When a female dog and her four puppies were dropped off at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC) last week, officers were left speechless.
“Yes it was pretty shocking,” said MCACC manager Linda Soto.
Soto was upset to see the dog with her mouth duct taped shut.
“I imagine it was pretty stressful for mom not being able to nuzzle, lick and nurture her puppies,” said Soto.
Officer James Holmes with the Phoenix Police Department said it was a 70-year-old woman who turned in four dogs, each one bound at the mouth. Their paws were wrapped up too.
“They stated that the dogs weren't very friendly and concerned about being bitten and scratched,” said Soto.
Soto notified police about her concerns.
“Taping a dog's mouth shut to the degree it can't open can be life threatening,” said Soto.
After an investigation Holmes said the woman was trying to do the right thing, but chose the wrong way to go about it.
“She wanted to protect herself and she had no intent on harming the animals,” said Holmes.
The woman who turned over the dogs told police her son abandoned the animals and she called animal control to come get them but was told no.
“When she attempted to cage them, the animals tried to attack her,” said Holmes.
According to the MCACC, the agency takes in 100 to 200 abandoned animals every day.
Animal control officers do not pick up owner surrendered animals.
Holmes said muzzles are the proper way to secure animals that attack.
The dogs will soon be up for adoption.