Dogs abandoned in the desert

Posted: Updated:

MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa woman is trying to save two dogs that she discovered abandoned in the desert. But help isn’t coming from the usual channels.

Susan Andre said about a month ago she was riding horseback in the Usery Mountain Recreation Area when she saw two shepherd-mix dog. The first time she saw them they were happy – both running up to the horses with tails wagging. She thought they had simply gotten loose from a nearby home.

A week later, however, she saw them again while riding and the dogs were scared, withdrawn and starting to look emaciated. That’s when she knew they had been abandoned.

“I can't imagine someone who would do that,” said Andre.

Every day she now loads her blue pickup full of dog food, water and ice. She drives to the green palo verde tree under which the dogs have dug a little desert den for themselves. Under that tree she coaxes the dogs with meatloaf, chicken and ice cold water.

“They'll eat out of my hand,” she said, although only one dog would come to her with the 3TV camera crew in tow.  “At this point I'm scared to take them to someplace where they're going to be put down.”

Sue said she called animal control and the usual suspects when it comes to animal rescue. However, because the dogs are strays and they’re on federal land, she hasn’t been able to find anyone who can help.

“They just need a good home. They're not ready quite yet to be leashed and put into a vehicle just yet, but they will be real soon.”

Sue said she would love to take them herself, but she already had three dogs of her own – one of them a rescue – and two cats.

“I just have a sticker on my forehead that says, ‘sucker, she'll take us in,"’ joked Sue.

She hopes soon someone will help these pups move out of their desert den and into a loving home.

“They’re so sweet I can't imagine how this happened,” she said.

Anyone willing to help can contact Sue by calling 480-204-6175 or email reporter Jason Volentine at jvolentine@azfamily.com.