STROUD TOWNSHIP -- Less than 24 hours after a tip came in to an animal shelter in the Poconos that three dead dogs were found in garbage bags, workers at that shelter now say that information has not been confirmed.
Thursday afternoon, workers at the AWSOM animal shelter near Stroudsburg say they received a tip call from a woman. AWSOM says that woman claimed that she had found three dead dogs in three separate garbage bags in three different locations in the Brodheadsville area.
On Friday, shelter workers admit they never went out to look for those dead dogs.
On the Facebook page for the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe County, better known as AWSOM, an "action alert" remains posted. It tells pet lovers and owners to be aware of a discovery in the Brodheadsville area: three dead dogs reportedly found in three different black trash bags.
AWSOM says the tip came in by phone Thursday afternoon. Just days before, on Monday, a dead Yorkie was found a quarter mile away from the shelter near Stroudsburg
The SPCA is investigating that case.
Also on Monday, another dog was found abandoned and is cared for by AWSOM.
"It's out there to be a public awareness, ‘hey, here, this is what we've heard what's going on, be prudent,’" said Marie Grimm of AWSOM.
Grimm says the woman who called in the tip about the three dead dogs claimed that one of the bags was on Jonas Road near the vacant Jonas Hotel. A second bag was supposedly on Merwinsburg Road, near Effort, and a third bag was at the Shop Rite in Brodheadsville.
Shelter workers say as they were about to go look for the bags, the woman called back and said all three bags were gone.
Grimm believes even though there is no evidence so far of three dead dogs in bags, it's still important for AWSOM to make the information they received public.
"If someone gives us a tip, we put it in the appropriate hands to investigate it. But to sit on that tip and not say anything when it could be an alertness to the public, and make them aware, it would be very irresponsible if we did not do that.”
Elizabeth Anderson is the SPCA's lead investigator for animal cruelty in Monroe County. She says she was not alerted immediately about the case but says now she's investigating and has received a few leads.
Officer Anderson won't comment on AWSOM's decision to publicize a tip but says the SPCA and AWSOM have different roles in the community
"The PSPCA Law Enforcement Team, of which I'm a part, works in Monroe County and that's what we're dedicated to doing, is solving crimes against animals. Our shelter in the county is AWSOM."
The investigator for the SPCA is also looking into the dead Yorkie found in a bag on Monday. That dog's body is with the SPCA and a necropsy is being done to determine cause of death. The results should be released soon.