The six puppies and their mother left abandoned in a Toledo alley last month -- which came to be known as the "Suitcase 6" and attracted potential adopters from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii -- are doing well and will soon be available for adoption.
To more fairly accommodate people interested in adopting the animals, the Toledo Area Humane Society will accept specially marked applications from 11 a.m. May 11 to 7 p.m. May 16. Suitcase 6 adoption applications are available on the humane society's Web site at www.ToledoAreaHumaneSociety.org or at the office at 1920 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee.
"We've gotten calls from all 50 states, around 1,000 enquiries about them," said John Dinon, executive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society.
Howard Davis, 53, of Toledo zipped the six puppies into a canvas suitcase with his name tag and left them with their mother tied to a garbage container in an alley April 4. The humane society has been caring for the animals since they were discovered, and Mr. Davis gave up ownership to the group and was ordered to pay restitution of $466 for their care.
He has pleaded no contest in Toledo Municipal Court to one count of animal abandonment and one count of cruelty to companion animals, defined as a custodian depriving or confining an animal without sustenance or shelter, and is slated for sentencing June 22.
One of the puppies will be adopted by their foster family, Mr. Dinon said. Those calling from faraway places, meanwhile, are being advised to adopt an animal from closer to home, he said.
The humane society will do a random drawing to determine which applicants will be contacted about adoption for the other five puppies and their mother, although that does not guarantee approval. Potential adopters must complete the adoption process based on the humane society's guidelines and policies.
Those whose applications were drawn will be notified May 18, and they must meet the puppies or mother dog May 22 to adopt.
There is no fee to submit an application, and only one per household will be accepted. The adoption fee for the puppies and mother dog is $200 each.
All of the animals will have their vaccinations and be spayed or neutered, and have identification microchips, Mr. Dinon said. The microchips are about the size of a rice grain and implanted under the animal's skin, he said.
"It's just a good idea to do with your pets if they get lost," Mr. Dinon said.
Adoption timing, Mr. Dinon said, is good for the May 21 change in the state's dangerous dog law, when "pit bulls" will no longer be considered inherently dangerous, triggering additional liability insurance and other requirements.
The humane society does not yet have DNA test results for the animals, so it is unknown whether they officially will be classified as "pit bull" mixes, Mr. Dinon said.
The adoption fee includes registration for dog training, which the humane society requires for "pit bulls" if they are classified as such and likely will continue to do even after the Ohio law changes, he said.
Humane society adoption fees vary based on breed and age, Mr. Dinon said. Purebred puppies, for example, will fetch more than $200 each, he said.