Last month, a passerby discovered six four-week-old bulldog-mix puppies inside a canvas suitcase in an alley behind an Ohio grocery store. Their mother was tied to a garbage can nearby.
The horrifying story has now turned heartwarming, with the six pups and their mother, Maddie, all being adopted into loving homes this week.
When the story made headlines, the Toledo Area Humane Society was bombarded with over 1,000 phone inquiries and 132 applications to adopt the dogs. The Humane Society narrowed down the selection with a random draw, then carefully screened those final applicants. On Tuesday, the finalists visited the shelter to met their new family members — and to bring them home.
The pups' original owner, Howard Davis, abandoned the animals when he was moving into a new home. Authorities tracked him down easily thanks to his own stupidity: his contact information was on the luggage tag attached to the suitcase imprisoning the dogs.
Davis entered no-contest pleas to charges of animal abandonment and cruelty to companion animals. He'll likely be put on probation for four years. He was also instructed to compensate the Toledo Area Humane Society for their costs and to spay and neuter his other dogs.
"This story just happens to have a really good ending to it," Cyndi Condit, marketing and special events manager for the Toledo Area Humane Society told MSNBC. "If you still have the space in your heart and in your home, check out the animals at your local shelter. Many of them have just been left somewhere, just like these puppies."