Dogs left for dead get second chance

Thanks to a couple of good samaritans, three dogs are being nursed back to health.

Two of them, chihuahua puppies were found in a dumpster at the Remington House Apartment in North Austin. Austin Pets Alive says someone heard them and fished them out. "We have them at the age where they are still adaptable, so we believe they will behave normally as adults," says Austin Pets Alive's Executive Director Ellen Jefferson. "I can't imagine a much worse fate than being put in a bag alive," she adds, calling the act "cowardly."

Jefferson says the puppies have what's called demodex mange, a non-contagious skin condition. "It typically affects puppies with poor immune systems or malnourished."

"It's fairly simple to treat but it's not inexpensive so if someone doesn't have a vet or can't go to a vet, they might feel like it's overwhelming and it's never going to get better." Jefferson believes that's why Ron and Hermione were discarded.

It's an unbearable act for anyone to imagine. "It's the kind of thing that makes you wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about it, it's awful," Jefferson says. A foster parent will take care of the two puppies until they are nursed back to health and ready to be adopted.

And then there's Liza, the eight year old pointer mix that was found in South Travis County on the side of Turnersville Road. A gunshot wound to the left front leg, she could've died too. "We don't know if someone shot her on purpose or if she was loose and someone thought she was a nuisance and shot her," Jefferson says.

Liza needs surgery before she can be adopted. It could cost up to $2,000. Austin Pets Alive is trying to raise the money through donations.

The people responsible for hurting the dogs have not been identified. The Travis County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information to call 512-974-0845

"It's frustrating to see animals suffer at the hands of people when we are a no kill community. My hope is that people recognize that there are shelters out there and if they can't take care of it go to a shelter and something more humane can come of it," Jefferson says.

According to Austin Pets Alive, more than 2,100 dogs have been adopted in 2015.