JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Two puppies are lucky to be alive, and it's all thanks to a sharp-eyed family who cared enough to take action.
Melanie Comello and her family were near the Franklin Creek exit of Interstate 10 when they spotted something on the side of the road.
"We saw a red cooler. As we got closer, the dog started sticking its head out of the cooler," Comello said. :They were left there to die, I have no doubt about that."
Alarmed, they turned back around and found two pups. They checked the area to see if there were any more, then decided to take the two they found home.
"I spent the whole ride crying I was so angry. I just don't understand how any human being can be that bad," said Comello.
The family contacted the Jackson County Animal Shelter and Animal Control, because they couldn't care for the pups either. Unlike the animals' former owner, the Comellos knew they had options.
"If you don't want to take care of it anymore, take it to a shelter. Don't leave it for dead," said Comello.
Maridee Mallette with the Jackson County Animal shelter says with all the resources available, animal cruelty shouldn't be an option.
"We will take them in. We will provide food, water, medication, we vaccinate them, worm them, bedding, everything. We take care of them and then find them homes," said Mallette.
Animal shelters throughout the coast take in unwanted animals for fees as low as $15. Additionally, there are numerous non-profit organizations that will give an unwanted pet a home. And with the rise of social media, a simple post of a pet in need of a home can often connect them to a loving family.
"Mississippi does have the weakest animal cruelty laws. There's a lot of people working on that every day, and hopefully pretty soon we'll have pretty strong laws when it comes to animals, because they don't have a voice. We are their voice," said Clint Creel of the Jackson County Animal Control.