Kennel Abandoned, Humane Society Overwhelmed

Acting on a tip, police raided an abandoned kennel in Summerdale, Alabama on Thursday night and were horrified to find hundreds of starved, dead or neglected animals left to die in their cages.

The owners of Purple Hearted Puppies skipped town more than ten days ago, leaving the animals in their care to fend for themselves. Purple Hearted Puppies bills itself as a rescue organization, but it is believed that the owners of the kennel were also using it as a breeding facility. The kennel also offered boarding for local pet owners, and as news of the abandonment spread, concerned clients returned to retrieve their pets. Some were too late.

“I’ve never seen anything this bad,” said one pet owner, sobbing. “I’m going to have to say may God never forgive them for the tragedy they have created.”

Baldwin County Humane Society executive director Sonja Presley agrees, noting that some of the dog carcasses had been consumed by other starving dogs. “It was survival,” she said. “They cannibalized the other dogs.”

Veterinarians, shelter workers, and police began feeding, cleaning and treating more than 200 neglected dogs, cats, horses and poultry when officials, acting on another tip, found another two dozen neglected animals at the owners’ home in Robertsdale. The owners of Purple Hearted Puppies, Roberta Dueitt and her daughter, Sharon Dueitt, were arrested Thursday night and charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals.

Now the hard work of rehabilitating the survivors begins, and the Baldwin County Humane Society has been overwhelmed by the unanticipated influx of hundreds of animals, many of them requiring medical care. Help is needed desparately.

Presley says: “It’s voluminous and it’s taking all the rescue groups and veterinary clinics to collaborate. No one has ever seen this magnitude of animal cruelty in Baldwin County.”

Roberta Dueitt (left) and her daughter, Sharon Dueitt

Anyone in the area considering adoption should contact the humane society as soon as possible. Foster homes will be needed in the near future, and supplies are running low:  police are asking for pet food donations, blankets, and kennels.

An officer on the scene was interviewed, and struggled to contain his disgust as he described what he saw. “Some of these animals were forced to eat other animals to survive,” he said. “You know there are a lot of sorry people in the world, but these (people) rank up there with the best of them.”


  1. Karin Pulver says on  01/27/2012 at 6:25 pm

    I would like to see this shared with Ellen Degeneres. I am sure you would get some assistance from her and her companies and charities. If I could I would I just don’t know how. She has a facebook page for her public personality. I live in California or I would help as much as I could.

  2. Bonnie Annis says on  01/27/2012 at 9:33 pm

    Are you setting up a Paypal for donations? I want to help…

  3. martha powell says on  01/27/2012 at 11:58 pm

    I hope the depraved women who were arrested will receive the maximum punishement allowed, and that the judge will forbid them from ever owning or caring for an animal, forever.
    God Bless the police, deputies, and the Baldwin Co Humane Society, and all the rescuers involved. I pray the surviving animals will never have to suffer again.

  4. ellie says on  01/28/2012 at 9:20 am

    where can we donate food!???

  5. Pat Y. says on  01/28/2012 at 2:07 pm

    Inotice that these two haven’t missed a meal at any point. If I had my way they’d be treated exactly the way they treated these animals.

  6. Anonymous says on  01/28/2012 at 4:36 pm

    This is the WORST thing I have EVER seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says on  01/28/2012 at 8:41 pm

    These low life scum bag pigs look like they ate all the dog food. They need to spend a LOT of time in jail and Then be required to lick animal kennels clean, then bleach them so the animals don’t catch anything from them. What a waste of good air. Michael he prick dog killer should get them.

  8. Anonymous says on  01/28/2012 at 8:51 pm

    This happened in Ohio at High Caliber K9 Kennel. The owner was paid to car for people’s dogs instead he starved then. Now the family of Nitro A Rottie that was starved is trying to get Ohio laws changed to make animal abuse a felony…I am asking for you to voice out loud by

    CALL BATCHELDER! 614-466-8140!!!! MOVE HB108 NITRO’S LAW TO THE FLOOR!!!!!!!!! Make animal abuse a felony…pass this on…we should call once every day till it is brought to the floor. In Ohio you can stave 8 dogs to death at your kennel and only get 3 months probation…and have 3 dogs of your own.

  9. karen robertson says on  01/29/2012 at 9:40 am

    May these women rot in hell! It says that they were charged. Are they in custody? Keep then in a county “cage” with no food, water or facility to use!

  10. christine riggall says on  01/29/2012 at 3:35 pm

    i live in the uk but i am disgusted these vile people are scum but would like to say a big thank you to everybody who helped these poor animals x

  11. Charlie says on  01/31/2012 at 1:07 pm

    Just wondering, are there laws in Alabama that require regular kennel inspections, particularly for a commercial kennel? Is there an inspection record by animal control? Did all of the customers just leave their dogs to be boarded without asking to see where their dog was to be kept? We can strive to keep these types of tragedies from happening by implementing protocols to inspect boarding and rescue facilities on a regular basis. As consumers, before you leave your dog, each and every single time regardless of whether it’s your “regular kennel”, ask to take a look. If they say “no”, perhaps you should pick another kennel.

  12. Anonymous says on  02/01/2012 at 5:35 am

    These women are ugly on the inside as well as the outside. Their behaviour is a signifier of serious psychopathy that should be taken into account when before the courts. It should mandate serious jail time to protect animals and humans in the future. everybody involved in rescuing the animals have done a wonderful job.

  13. catladycs says on  02/09/2012 at 12:03 pm

    This is unbelievable! These women should be treated exactly the way they treated these poor animals! They certainly deserve to be caged and forgotten about. This should be reported to the news media, local and national to get some much needed assistance. Get the story out asap so we can all help even if we are not in AL.

  14. Donna Lutz says on  02/11/2012 at 8:48 am

    I can’t imagine people being so heartless and intentionally cruel. It is so evil. How can (people) do such horrible things to such innocent animals. May they get the worst punishment possible. Let their punishment set an example to other cruel disgusting people everywhere who treat animals so terribly bad.

  15. patricia fletcher says on  06/29/2013 at 2:42 pm

    Just found out about this I hope those two cold blooded poor excuses for the human race literally rots in HELL These sick BITCHES needs to be taken out of society

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