DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — Surveillance video shows the moment a man abandoned his dog at the Walton County Animal Shelter on May 8. With the door just feet away from the lot, the man left without notifying the shelter.
“The shelter was closed to the public, but there was staff present. He came up with Buzz in his car, got out of the car, walked up to the door and then walked back to his car and released Buzz in the parking lot, and then drove off and left Buzz stranded in the parking lot with no food or water or to be able to fend for himself,” said Animal Control Officer Cary Miller.
Luckily, Miller found the dog and traced the microchip to the owner. Daniel King has been charged in the case with abandonment of an animal.
“It is illegal in the state of Florida. You cannot abandon an animal. They’re not able to defend themselves, provide water or food for themselves, and especially if you’re in a shelter or parking lot, we’re just a call away,” said Miller.
Despite being left with his tail tucked between his legs, staff at the animal shelter describe Buzz as a happy puppy.
“He did look scared. I mean, he was just dumped and left there. He just didn’t know what to do,” said Miller. “But he was still happy as could be. He was wagging his tail, licking you all over. He was still just a happy little puppy.”
In less than a month, Buzz has gained weight, got a sponsor for free adoption, and was picked up Wednesday for his new forever home.
“I hope he enjoys his new home. I heard it was a 150-acre farm in Holmes County, so I hope he gets to run around them 150 acres and enjoy being a puppy and then grow up to be a dog with his family and I hope they enjoy him just as much as we enjoyed having him here,” said Miller.
The story of Buzz is serving as a reminder that if you show up to the shelter and it’s after hours- there is a number to call to get help and avoid criminal implications. It’s 850-892-8111.
“There’s always someone willing to help make a phone call, an animal control officer will meet or come to the shelter when they’re open, and you can surrender your animals that way, we’re always willing to help them. We’re just a phone call away,” said Miller.
The original owner, Daniel King, has been released on bond.