PRICHARD, Ala. (WPMI) — UPDATE: At 5:52 p.m., we were alerted that Save-A-Stray is NOT the rescue taking the puppies according to a representative.
ORIGINAL: Prichard Animal Shelter has been the subject of NBC 15 investigations for more than a decade, going back to Darwin Singleton’s 2009 investigation into animal conditions after witnesses said they saw deceased dogs being fed on by other shelter animals.
In the last ten years, positions have changed and new people have come in to work at the old building, a shelter since the 70s.
Tyra Pruitt is the shelter supervisor. Pruitt met our news crew today after we tried to gain entrance into the building to check on conditions and specifically, six puppies that were taken by animal control last week.
A local rescue contacted us with concerns about the puppies, saying their mom was left behind and they may need her due to their age.
We asked the shelter employee to see the dogs, but he phoned the police and asked us to leave. Pruitt as well as three Prichard Police officers met us at the shelter.
One of those officers brought out five puppies which were in poor health, putrid smelling with obvious signs of worms. Including diarrhea.
Pruitt and the shelter employee said they are being dewormed and that’s why they are low-weight as well as dealing with stomach issues.
They did not speak to what happened to the alleged sixth puppy.
We were also told baths happen on Saturdays thanks to the help of volunteers.
We were never allowed access inside the shelter, but Pruitt said there are two sides, only one of which is public.
There is a side for adoptable dogs and another side for quarantined dogs and holds. The officer who retrieved the puppies removed them from the holds side, brought out a pen for the puppies and food and water to show us their condition. Pruitt said the adoptable side of the shelter was presently empty.
As for the five puppies, she said they have lined up foster parents for them through Save-A-Stray.
The rescue who contacted NBC 15 felt the mother of those puppies was abandoned by animal control and were told they were not permitted to see the puppies during the stray hold.
The shelter employee who called the police admitted to us that he told the rescue that the puppies were not there, in an effort to combat what he alleged to be hostile behavior.
Pruitt also explained that there are certain qualifications to be with a rescue, and the initial two women who showed up to see the puppies were not with the rescue, and instead volunteers.
She said the reason police were called on the concerned women was because they called more rescues and more than four cars of people showed up, overwhelming the shelter.
We sat down with two women who work for a local rescue and say they’re just trying to save bully breeds no one else cares about. They rescued the puppy’s mother last week.