Happy Ending for Abandoned 'Suitcase' Puppies

Left to die in a zipped suitcase, all six puppies and their mother now have forever homes.

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family adopts puppy that was abandoned in suitcase.

One of the 'Suitcase 6' found a forever home this week when he was adopted by Eddie, Jennice and Shontese Collier of Shaker Heights, Ohio. (Photo: Courtesy of The Toledo Area Humane Society)

Back in April, we reported the story of an idiot from Ohio who abandoned a suitcase full of dogs—an English bulldog mix and her six puppies—behind a grocery store in Toledo. Howard Smith might have gotten away with his cowardly crime if he hadn’t left a name tag attached to the suitcase. He was subsequently charged with abandonment and will be back in court on June 22 for sentencing.

The Toledo Humane Society received 132 applications for the dogs, according to The Toledo Blade. John Dinon, executive director of the Toledo Humane Society, said that a lottery was held to determine the new owners.

Mark Taylor of Toledo was the first lottery winner to arrive at the shelter earlier this week, showing up 30 minutes before it opened.

Taylor chose the pup with a spot on his white head, and planned to name him Augustus. “I knew I wanted him as soon as I saw him,” Mr. Taylor said. “He’s laid back. He reminds me of me.”

Other adopters included an Oregon couple who chose a solid white puppy named Brutus, and David and Charlotte Swincicki of Ohio, who adopted the mother dog, Maddie—the real hero of this entire story. After Smith zipped up the suitcase full of puppies, Maddie stood guard over it, barking for help for her brood.

What punishment should animal abandoner Howard Smith receive when he is sentenced on June 22?


Jocelyn Heaney is an English instructor, animal activist and freelance writer for L.A. Review of Books and Warner Bros. Pictures, among others. Her favorite animals are great white sharks, horses and all cats. She is currently at work on a memoir. Email Jocelyn | @JocelynHeaney