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Puppy found living in Muskegon Co. storage unit humanely euthanized

The puppy's owner has been cited for animal cruelty. Pet shelter officials say incidents like these are on the rise due to inflation and lack of housing.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A dog was humanely euthanized after being found living in a storage unit in Muskegon County.

Pound Buddies says this isn't the first time animals have been left in unusual and often dangerous places by their owners. The shelter says it has had an increase in these types of cases lately.

Earlier this month, after a stretch of hot summer days someone heard a dog barking inside of a storage unit and reported it to the property manager.

Animal Care and Control were called, and when they arrived, what they discovered broke everyone's hearts.

There was a puppy living inside one of the Barclay Self Storage units. 

It was being kept in a crate that was covered in urine and feces. They say the units are not temperature controlled and it was hot inside. Investigators say the dog was in terrible condition, malnourished and dehydrated.

Pound Buddies was called in to pick up the dog, and they say this isn't the first time a situation like this has been reported. They say the rise of inflation and the housing crisis are partially to blame—and that seems to be the case in this instance.

Muskegon Police confirmed the person who was renting the storage unit is homeless. 

"People are either losing their homes, losing their rentals, not able to find a rental or home. They're left with pets, that they literally do not know what to do with," said Lana Carson, Director of Pound Buddies. "And so, you know, if you're storing your things somewhere, I don't know if that's why they're making that decision. Based on our calls this is from the housing issues that are going on."

Unfortunately, two days after the puppy was rescued, his health started to decline rapidly. The shelter discovered he was positive for the highly contagious virus parvo and the puppy was humanely euthanized. 

Police say the puppy's owner has been cited with animal cruelty. That's a misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to 93 days in jail and a fine.

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