A video that showed a dog running after a car after the driver abandoned him in the middle of the road sparked outrage across Tampa Bay earlier this week.
It was a situation that easily could have been avoided.
"We are open six days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we do not turn dogs away," said Roger Mills, director of field operations with Hillsborough County Animal Control.
Mills' division is actively investigating the incident, which occurred Monday night and was captured on a dash-cam by Jerit Gaddis and posted on his Facebook page.
It shows the unidentified driver opening his car door, letting the dog — described as a pitbull weighing between 60-80 pounds — out and driving away on North Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard as the dog gives chase.
Investigators searched the area and visited homes in the area to see if any surveillance footage was available. Unfortunately, Mills said, no leads have been established yet, but the investigation is ongoing.
Mills urged that people dumping a pet on the side of the road is not the answer to whatever troubles they may be facing.
"There are resources available. We try to do everything we can to help," Mills said. "We will counsel owners who want to surrender their dogs. We ask them what the problem is or if they just need their dog taken care of temporarily or if they need food for their animals or veterinary care. Whatever it is, we'll work with them."
Mills said there are occasions when pet owners come to the shelter to surrender an animal, but later admit they just need some help – something Mills said the shelter will work hard to try to provide.
"But we're very liberal in the amount of animals we take in because we don't want stuff like this happening," Mills said. "We want them to keep their animals, but if they can't we will take them."
Contact Samantha Putterman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @samputterman.