TINTON FALLS — The Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter takes in animals of all shapes and sizes, and each has their own story. Sometimes there are dogs like Mabel that make a lasting impression even if their time at the shelter is short, passing just over a week after arriving at the shelter.

According to the shelter's Facebook page, Mabel was found buried up to her neck in mud in the Assunpink Wildlife Preserve. When she was pulled from the mud the shelter said  she was dehydrated and emaciated and was taken to an emergency animal hospital before ultimately being brought to the shelter.

"The sight of this poor girl and her dreadful story had our staff in tears upon her arrival," the shelter's Aug. 7 post said.

As an elderly dog, Mabel faced an uphill battle when she arrived at the shelter, struggling to walk and almost visually impaired thanks to cataracts. When she was first brought in workers at the shelter did not think she would last even as long as she did.

"Although she may not be with us for very long, at least now she knows that she is with people that care for her, and she will not leave this world terrified, alone, and drowning in mud," the statement said.

On Aug. 11, the shelter posted about Mabel again, including addressing her being found in the mud in the woods.

"Sadly, years of experience have taught us that the place where Mabel was found has become a popular dumping ground for unwanted pets, especially those that are old, or are no longer of any use to their owners that used them for hunting," the statement said. "We feel that our suspicions are correct and that this lovely older lady was just dumped in the woods, left to starve to death or drown in a muddy swamp."

By Sunday, the shelter announced Mabel's passing and the indelible mark she left on the people there.

"Imagining what she went through, and who caused her so much suffering, led us to question the morality of our society and to wonder where the compassion has gone from the hearts of those that could allow such a beautiful creature to become so distressed," the shelter said. "But her story also made us even more aware of the love and kindness in the world, since after we told the story, the outpouring of care and concern of this lovely lady has been overwhelming, humbling, and has touched our hearts deeply."

The shelter also had a message for the unknown owner who left the poor pup to die in the woods.

"While we do not wish ill will upon another living creature, we do hope that one day, the individual that caused Mabel to be buried up to her neck in a swamp, alone and struggling, facing certain death by drowning in mud, should at the very least, feel a shred of guilt for the pain that he or she has caused this innocent animal."

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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