This dog was abandoned with a heartbreaking sign that said, 'Free pup. Owner went to jail today'

This dog was abandoned with a heartbreaking sign that said, 'Free pup. Owner went to jail today'

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A dog is now in the care of a Midlands animal rescue after he was abandoned with a sign Tuesday afternoon saying his owner went to jail.

Blanca Anahi Cushman says her cousin found Scooter near the Little Caesar's in West Columbia.

"Scooter was sitting there with his food all in the grass," said Maria Jaramillo, Cushman's cousin.

He was left on a leash tied to a nearby tree with two bowls, a pile of food on the ground and a duffle bag. Next to Scooter was a piece of flooring tile with his hastily written back story scribbled on it.

The sign said, "Free pup. [My] Name is Scooter. [My] Owner went to jail today."

"He was really scared," Jaramillo said. "He was actually shaking."

Cushman's Facebook post describes how Scooter was found:

My cousin just found this dog tied to a tree at the back of Muv Fitness West Columbia and we don't know where to go from here...clearly the owner is a piece of garbage and left the dog here. It's getting dark and I don't want to leave him does anyone have any ideas please, i can't keep the dog for the long term.

"I'm not going to leave him here," Jaramillo described her thought when she first saw Scooter. "I love dogs and I love animals."

Since she couldn't take him home, Jaramillo called Cushman to help her find a no-kill rescue for Scooter.

The post was shared a Columbia Lost and Found Pets Facebook page where the operator of Southeastern Homeless Animals, a nonprofit animal rescue, stepped in and is currently taking care of Scooter. Emily Beverly and her sister, Kim Craft, took Scooter to the shelter. Beverly says it's good to see so many members of the community wanting to help take get Scooter off the street.

"It broke my heart, like, 'I cannot leave this dog here' and actually there were people passing by and they saw him and they wouldn't do anything about it and I told my fiance, 'we have to do something,'" Jaramillo said.

Scooter's background is unknown, other than the sign and it's unclear who left him. A representative for the rescue says he is microchipped.

"I can't say for sure that's the same dog," said Scott Morrison with the West Columbia Police Department.

Both Jaramillo and Cushman said they were grateful for the quick response and concern for Scooter.

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