PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The living conditions of three Philadelphia dogs and several rabbits has sparked community outrage since the summer of 2016 has now led to the animals disappearing early Monday.
Two large dogs, a puppy, and several rabbits were reported stolen from a property on the 2900 block of Sandyford Avenue after a weekend of protests were conducted on behalf of the animal’s welfare.
Neighbors told Eyewitness News that the dogs, in particular, spent their lives confined to the home’s small front porch area, and only after being reprimanded by officials did their owner construct a wooden makeshift shelter.
“You feel bad for them, seeing the animals out here in the cold and all,” said one man who often drives by the home.
Concerned passersby said that they often checked in on the animals, providing them food and water.
Hundreds have spoken out against the owner online, commenting on videos that showed the dogs struggling to find shade during the summer and most recently, protection from the snow on Saturday.
“I literally drove by and saw the dogs panting in 90 degree weather,” said concerned resident Alyssa Hower of her first encounter with the dogs. “They were literally drinking their own pee just trying to survive.”
Hower and dozens of others stop by the home frequently to check in on the animals. On one of those occasions they filmed an interaction with the owner.
“My dogs don’t like the inside!” the apparent property owner shouted in a video submitted to Eyewitness News. When people are heard demanded him to bring his animals indoors the man responds, “They are my dogs. Not yours.”
Eyewitness News arrived to the property Monday evening, and found that only one rabbit remained. The PSPCA confirmed that the other animals were reported stolen and that they will continue their investigation.
An anonymous, non-law enforcement source told reporter Alexandria Hoff that the animals are now “safe”.