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Helen Woodward Animal Center asking for public's help in finding abandoned dog left at facility

Center says security cameras captured man leaving the dog Monday night
Posted at 6:26 AM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 10:31:48-04

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (KGTV) - Security cameras at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe captured a sad sight just before 8 p.m. Monday.

“We immediately went to our security footage and found the footage of somebody abandoning their dog here,” said Jessica Gercke with the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

The center said the act was caught on camera and it’s a heartbreaking situation.

“You see the person drive up, you see them get all of the stuff out of the car. You see them call to the dog and the dog walks across — completely unassisted, completely trusting the person that he’s with. Then you basically see them leave the dog, get into their car and drive away,” Gercke said.

The center said one of the things that drove them to check the security camera was a dog bed and toys left in front of the Companion Animal Hospital.

One of the people who noticed the bed and toys was Kyle LaPierre.

“Then they brought the bed into the back for us to dispose of it. And they noticed a little it of blood on the blanket and the bed was a little bit messed up as well,” LaPierre said.

There was another thing that seemed a little unsettling for LaPierre.

“We even have a sign right there about dumping dogs where it’s a fine and misdemeanor. You know, for somebody to come that close to that and see that just has no regard for an animal’s life,” LaPierre said.

When it comes to this animal’s life, Helen Woodward officials said any help finding this deserted dog would be appreciated.

It’s also offering a $5,000 to anyone who can identify the person in the surveillance video.

“I supposed to a certain extent by leaving him in front of an animal hospital, there’s a bit more of a chance we can find him. But obviously, it was overnight. It was a span of about 17 hours before we really knew that he was gone,” Gercke said.

“And so, at that point, who knows where and who knows how far he’s wondered away. It certainly was a cruel act and one that breaks all of our hearts," she added.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center said an employee of the center saw the dog near a Rancho Santa Fe fire station, but it ran away after efforts to catch the dog failed.

Gercke said if you’re in a bad situation regarding your pet and its care, you should know what resources are available to you to not just abandon the animal. She told ABC 10News that people should have a plan B to know who they can pass the animal on to.

You can go to and work with a shelter to relinquish the animal or figure out what options are available. A pet owner could also work with County Animal Services, according to Gercke.