Chris and Meaghan Billemeyer are animal lovers. They have two Maine Coon cats and three pit bulls of their own, and have helped catch and rehome several stray cats.
Last Thursday the Billemeyers were driving around in Okeechobee, Florida, looking at property for sale, when they found something they hadn’t bargained for. There was a bucket set in the middle of the road in front of them.
In an interview with CBS 12’s Paul Mueller, Meaghan said when she first saw the bucket, she thought it was an animal in the road. When they got closer, they realized it was a bucket with three puppies inside.
They’d been left in the heat, without food and water, covered in their own excrement, and starving. The Billemeyers fed them some leftover chicken they had in the car, and offered them a little water before taking them to their vet.
The vet found out more horrifying details as she examined them. They were so riddled with fleas that they’d become anemic.
They had worms. And they hadn’t eaten anything for about a week.
At 14 weeks old, they should have been running around at breakneck speeds, tiring themselves out and crashing for naps. But they were so emaciated and exhausted that all they could do was cuddle up to their rescuers and rest.
“I question where the momma is at,” Meaghan said. “I would like to know that she is safe, and healthy, and fed, and that they are actually capable of taking care of the animals that they have.”
“I would question why it was that they were left in the middle of the road and not somewhere that they can be found and saved.”
She suggested that the people could always have taken the puppies to a more populated spot and given them away rather than giving them a death sentence by abandoning them in the heat without food or water.
Of course, the best solution would be to find homes for their unwanted pups, or turn them over to a rescue, but rescues are always brimming with unwanted animals and often charge a surrender fee.
When prompted, Meaghan said that she was surprised people could be so cruel to such innocent creatures.
“It’s heartless,” she said. “It’s absolute heartless, and people like that shouldn’t be given the opportunity to have something so loving and unconditional love from this little baby. How do you do something like that?”
She started a GoFundMe page for the three puppies, to ensure that they’d get the proper medical attention and treatments that they needed. As of publishing time, nearly $6,000 has been donated to their cause.
Thanks to the Billemeyer’s timing and help, these puppies should find new homes quickly once they’re in good shape again. But you, too, can be a hero by getting involved with your local animal shelter.
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