Joanne Malcom doesn’t know who dumped off the mixed breed female dog near her rural Miami home.

Neither does she know who apparently threw the dog’s young puppies out the door or window of a vehicle, causing broken bones and possibly other injuries that probably contributed to their agonizing deaths in the hot summer sun.

But she does know this: It’s more than a shame. And it’s not the first time something like this has happened, either.

Neighbors buried the dead puppies, Malcom has learned. But the mother dog won’t leave the site where her offspring died. While Malcom isn’t able leave the house to give the dog food and water, others have done so.

But the ill-treated and abandoned dog who is wearing a collar remains homeless and might even die.

Now Malcom, her husband, Joe, and others are doing what they can to save her.

“She’s traumatized and in bad shape,” said Malcom, who lives southwest of Miami on 540 Road. “She’s thin as a rail. We’ve been trying desperately to find someone who will pick her up. Anybody that would dump off a mother and her babies are just ugly people.”

Joe Malcom called the Miami Animal Alliance, but the shelter is already overcrowded as it is. However, the animal group has offered to spay the dog, free of charge, for anyone willing to accept her as a foster pet until she can be permanently adopted out. The shelter will also pay for shots.

Call 918-237-2334 and volunteers from the shelter will assist in picking the dog up. As of Wednesday evening, a photo of the dog, who might be keeping to the shade, was not available.

Joe and Joanne Malcom already have three dogs of their own and aren’t able to take in any others. But Joanne is hoping someone will come forward before it’s too late.

“She’s very friendly,” Malcom said of the mixed-breed dog. “I told (my husband) Joe that if she’s traumatized she may bite. But he said ‘oh, Joanne, she’s so friendly I don’t think she would bite anybody.’ She just needs someone.”

It’s a sad story, but one that Malcom said is constantly repeated.

“We’re the dumping area of Miami,”she said. “There’s always dogs and cats most of them pregnant being dumped here. It’s sad. It’s really sad.”

According to Miami Animal Alliance president Karen Buffaloe, however, the problem isn’t limited geographically. It’s happening all over Ottawa County.

Someone came to the Animal Alliance shelter only last Tuesday, she said, with eight Husky-mix puppies that had been dumped off somewhere. Then on Wednesday she received a phone call about another litter of Lab-mix puppies that had also been abandoned.

“I believe that every shelter (in the area) is full,” Buffaloe said. “So it is a real problem.” Buffaloe doesn’t necessarily know if the problem is getting worse, but she said the current state of the economy certainly isn’t helping. She said people just don’t have the extra money right now to get their pets spayed or neutered and unwanted puppies are the result.

“But dropping them off somewhere isn’t the most humane thing to do,” Buffaloe said.