LYNN — The Animal Rescue League of Boston is crediting the efforts of two Good Samaritans for rescuing a pair of neglected Shih Tzus earlier this month from a woman walking around the Lynnway Mart and attempting to sell off the animals for a low price.
On June 8, a man approached the woman at the Lynnway flea market and was told that she needed to sell her dog, and if she couldn’t, she was going to bring it home and take care of it one way or another, according to Michael DeFina, a spokesman for the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
So, to get the dog away from her, he offered her $40 and bought the Shih Tzu. The man then contacted Lisa Cutting from Ocean View Kennel in Revere and brought her the dog, DeFina said.
To make sure it wasn’t lost or stolen, Cutting posted a picture of the dog on Facebook and in a surprise twist, a person misunderstood and replied to the post saying she thought she had the Shih Tzu, thinking the kennel was instead looking for a dog, DeFina said.
It turns out a second person had bought a dog from the woman at the flea market on the same day, for the same reason, to simply get it away from her. DeFina said the second dog was taken to Ocean View.
While at the kennel, both dogs were groomed and bathed, and found to be in poor medical condition. They were matted, underweight and smelled bad, according to DeFina.
Ocean View reached out to the director of law enforcement at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which took the dogs in and gave them a medical examination. Both dogs needed to be spayed, both had hernias that needed surgery to correct and the dogs also had some dental disease, DeFina said.
The dogs, aged 2 and 6 and named Tiffany and Chanel, have been at the Animal Rescue League for about a week and are doing much better, DeFina said. One dog has been spayed and the other is scheduled for the procedure this week. The shelter is hoping to put them up for adoption later this week, he said.
“I think the real great thing here is the two people who bought the dogs from this person saw the dogs were in distress and saw that something was not right there,” DeFina said. “They absolutely did the right thing in getting the dogs away from this person.”
Unfortunately, authorities don’t have many leads on identifying the woman from the flea market. There was no surveillance footage and the only description is that she was a heavy-set Hispanic woman, DeFina said.
In light of the incident, he said employees at Lynnway Mart are keeping an eye out for the woman and have been asked to contact Lynn Police if they see her.
It’s unclear if the woman owned or stole the dogs. The animals don’t match any missing reports and weren’t microchipped. One theory is that she may have been breeding the dogs and wanted to get rid of them because they had hernias, DeFina said.
“The real concern is, does this person have more dogs?” DeFina said. “This person may have more animals in similar condition.”
If anyone has any information on the woman, they’re asked to contact ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at 617-426-9170.