‘It’s cruelty’: Urbana men rescue abandoned dog left in cage

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning, maintenance worker Justin Matthew pulled into work when he heard a noise in the distance.

“So I get in, clock in and tell the other guys, ‘I think there’s a dog over there,'” Matthew said. “Sure enough, we went over there, the dog’s sitting in a cage. Like I said, we got there, he was skinny, real sick looking.”

What Matthew and his coworker found was a two-year-old dog. She was left in a cage near the old Champaign Humane Society — abandoned.

Matthew’s co-worker Chuck Chaney remembers wondering what they’d find.

“It’s a little bit scary because it’s dark. You know, that morning, we don’t know what we’re running into,” Chaney said. “Then, when we got over there and seen her, that kind of just left, and we had to grab the cage and bring it back to our shop.”

The dog had been left in a crate, sickly looking and in rough shape.

“There are other places you can drop dogs off where somebody can actually take them in when you drop them off, and not just leave them,” said Matthew.

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Champaign County Humane Society Executive Director Mary Tiefenbrunn says abandonment situations like this are not unheard of, but leaving an animal in front of an empty building or anywhere is illegal.

“I want people to know that abandonment of an animal — even in a crate, even at a building that you think is the Humane Society — abandonment is a crime,” Tiefenbrunn said. “It’s a violation of the Humane Care for Animals Act, and it falls under animal cruelty.”

Tiefenbrunn added that for people wanting to surrender their pets—the best way to do it is to simply call them.

Matthew and Chaney cared for the dog and called animal control to come help. A pup saved —thanks to the quick action of two people in the right place at the right time.

“I really hope that there are people out there that realize you can’t do this kind of stuff to animals,” Chaney said. “I mean, it’s cruelty, no matter how you look at it.”

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Matthew and Chaney both expressed sentiments that they were grateful Matthews happened to park up front that day to be able to hear the dog.

“If he were to park in the back with the rest of us, we probably wouldn’t have found her,” Chaney said. “And who knows how long she would have been in that crate.”

The dog is now at Champaign Animal Control and is doing well.

“I’m glad that I heard it,” Matthew said. “And I’m glad that it’s over there getting the help and care that he needs or she needs.”

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