Shelter: Woman left dog tied to outside bench in freezing cold

SALEM, Mass. — A woman left a dog outside the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Massachusetts in 7-degree cold Tuesday morning.

The Northeast Animal Shelter posted on its Facebook page that a little black dog was left tied to a bench outside the shelter. Video shows the woman try to open before leaving.

The pup was outside in the cold for 45 minutes before she was discovered. Shelter workers say the 9-pound dog, now called Icelyn, might not have survived much longer.

“She could've died, potentially. You just don't know,” adoptions manager Jenna Bradley said. “It's heartbreaking. I mean, she's so sweet.”

The shelter says after being taken inside, the dog gobbled up a warm meal and was wrapped in blankets to get warm.

“Maybe we’ll never know the name she has always known, what she has been through, or why you didn't go to another door at our building to talk to someone instead of just leaving her tied up…” said the shelter in its post.

The video also appears to show the woman jerking the small dog toward her.

"She did the right thing because she came to an animal shelter, but she didn't see the situation all the way through, and although we weren't open, there were plenty of people here, there were lots of cars in the parking lot to indicate that people were in fact in the building," Bradley said.

The shelter says the dog, which they believe is a 5-year-old papillon-Chihuahua mix, will be safe until she finds a new home “with someone who will love her forever."

Pictures were released of the woman seen on surveillance video, as well as the car she was believed to be in. Police say that while felony charges are possible, they want to identify the woman so they can speak to her and hear her story.

"Under the state law it is willful abandonment of the dog, but there is that gray area. Sometimes you've got to think outside the box as to what was going on here," Salem Animal Control Officer Don Famico said.said.

Whoever you are that left your dog tied to an outside bench at our shelter this morning - she was discovered 45 min...

Posted by Northeast Animal Shelter on Tuesday, January 2, 2018