Tails of survival

Good news! Abandoned 'Suitcase 6' puppies find loving homes

May 22, 2012 at 6:18 PM ET

Reuters /
This photo of a bulldog-mix mother named Maddie and three of her six puppies was taken in early April, shortly after the dogs were rescued and taken to the Toledo Area Humane Society in Ohio.

Remember the disturbing story of the six bulldog-mix puppies zipped inside a canvas suitcase and abandoned last month in an alley behind an Ohio grocery store? Well, it’s now safe to breathe a sigh of relief: The puppies and their mom all got adopted into loving, permanent homes on Tuesday.

Reuters /
Two of the six bulldog-mix puppies found zipped inside a suitcase play together in April shortly after being rescued. The puppies were about four weeks old when they were rescued.

The Toledo Area Humane Society received a total of 132 applications for the puppies and their mother, Maddie. Humane Society officials did a random drawing from that group, then screened the selected applications with care. The applicants who got picked were thrilled to be invited to come to the shelter Tuesday so they could meet their new family members, spend time bonding with them and bring them home.

“They all went to wonderful homes,” said Cyndi Condit, marketing and special events manager for the Toledo Area Humane Society. “The people who came out were such great people.”

Toledo Area Humane Society /
David and Charlotte Swincicki of Grand Rapids, Ohio were thrilled to adopt momma dog, Maddie. Maddie had to go to a home with no other pets.

The “Suitcase 6” puppies made headlines all over the world after being left in an alley by Howard Davis, a Toledo man who was in the process of moving to a new home. Davis left the puppies’ mother tied to a garbage container near the suitcase — and he also left a luggage tag on the suitcase bearing his contact information.

Toledo Area Humane Society /
Eddie, Jennice and Shontese Collier of Shaker Heights, Ohio had a hard time picking which adorable puppy to bring home.

On April 23, Davis appeared in Toledo Municipal Court for a pretrial hearing and entered no contest pleas to charges of animal abandonment and cruelty to companion animals. He is expected to be placed on probation for four years. At the hearing, Davis also agreed to pay $466 in restitution to the Toledo Area Humane Society and to spay and neuter the other dogs he owns.

Toledo Area Humane Society /
This dad and daughter from Oregon, Ohio let their current dog get to know their new bulldog-mix puppy before taking the puppy home.

Condit noted that this case sparked a huge amount of interest, but animal abandonment is a common occurrence faced by shelters on a daily basis.

“This story just happens to have a really good ending to it,” Condit said. “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.”

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