Tucson's dirty secret: The animals left to die in Dogpatch

Cracking down on illegal dog-dumping

TUCSON, Ariz. - An area of open desert south of Tucson Airport has commonly been referred to as the "Dogpatch." 

The land has been known to be a dumping ground for trash and dogs, and it has been going on for decades. 

Angels for Animals is one of many groups that over the years has tried to clean up the Dogpatch.

A volunteer with the organization, Jason Gilliam, told KGUN 9 that it is an issue that will never go away for good, but it can be managed. 

"If we make it out here without seeing a dead one, it's a good day." 

Gilliam says for every weekly visit; they'll find between three to five dead dogs.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department says their efforts to stop illegal dog dumping depends on the number of reports they get from people in the area. 

Deputy James Allerton says as a community, it could be possible to clean up the Dogpatch one day. 

"I think it's important for people to know that if they want this sort of activity to stop, they should know that we're not everywhere at once and the best thing they can do is report this sort of activity." 

Gilliam says every trip they take as an organization; they will fill up large white barrels with food donated by the community, plus gallons of water for the dogs that still roam endlessly. He says the demand remains high. 

"The more we save, the more we pull out, the more I try to remember maybe it's a place of hope because maybe they didn't get a good first chance. When we find them in time or when they find us, actually, they get a second chance." 

 

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