“I did see a small plastic kid’s pool full of puppies”


“Dear PoPville,

Off of 27th Street, where there tends to be a large congregation of homeless individuals — near the Kennedy Center/Rock Creek Parkway — I saw two dogs and a sign that said “puppies for sale” and “need $$ for puppy supplies.” I didn’t see any puppies and the two adult dogs looked healthy, were playing, and there was a large bag of food…. it made me sad to see the dogs, but I thought I could just drop extra food or dog supplies off as opposed to just giving cash. When I drove by again today, I did see a small plastic kid’s pool full of puppies and no adult dogs in sight. The puppies couldn’t have been older than 2-4 weeks. There was a bag of puppy food, but I think they looked too young for that — they should be feeding off their mother or from a bottle.

I called Animal Control and they said it had already been reported, and they had sent someone out. I could call the responsible agency if I wanted to follow up. I’ve emailed my vet, as well as the rescue organization that I got my dog through, but I thought I’d reach out here as well.”

Another reader reports:

“I’m not sure what to make of this. This is part of the tent city near the watergate and the overpass from the white Hearst freeway. The couple set up home on their veranda while checking their iPhones. In front, not in pictures they were selling puppies from the dog that is under their seat.”

71 Comment

  • After reading the title, the actual story is a huge letdown. 🙁

  • I understand helping puppies is easier than solving homelessness, but, really, this is the takeaway from this experience?

    • I know the OP’s heart was in the right place, but this was my reaction as well. Bringing puppy food to homeless people strikes me as slightly tone deaf (I know s/he didn’t actually do this, but that was the initial plan). Again, good intentions, but still.

      • Not tone deaf. I care more about the puppies welfare than the people’s welfare. The puppies are defenseless and cannot fend for themselves. The puppies are dependent on people and cannot get a job or work for a better life. These people could if they wanted to.

        • Maybe the dogs ate their bootstraps.

        • “I care more about the puppies welfare than the people’s welfare.”
          Well, that’s lovely. I was giving the benefit of the doubt to the OP (you?) with tone deaf. If you want to eschew that and go directly to completely effed up priorities, fine with me. I’m not the one who looks like a lunatic.

          • effed up priorities? Humans can ask for help, get help. People make choices. Puppies cannot. I’m sure these are hardworking people who would jump at the chance of a fair days pay!

            ” I’m not the one who looks like a lunatic.” – yeah because everyone who disagrees with you must be a nut job. I bet you run across lunatics all day, everywhere. When that happens tomorrow ask yourself who the lunatic really is.

          • Plenty of people disagree with me and are perfectly rational. People who write, “I care more about the puppies welfare than the people’s welfare” are not among them. Your over the top responses simply reinforce the point, so thanks for that.

        • If I ever encounter you in your time of need, I shall choose to help a puppy instead, because that is what you would want.

        • These don’t look like little toy purebred dogs if the dog in the pictures is representative. I imagine they are less dependent on people than you’d expect (they might be dependent on their mother, but she is also a dog, not a human “dog mommy”) and could make a pretty sweet life for themselves quite easily. Unfortunately, a good life for many dogs would involve large, aggressive strays running around the city, which no one wants.

          Still, it’s disturbing that you think of dogs as babies and homeless people as less than dogs.

    • I see where the OP was coming from. Also, this idea that homeless people are only homeless because they can’t do anything else is ridiculous. There are a lot of homeless people that are choosing that lifestyle because they like the freedom that it allows them. Assuming that homeless people want help when they’re not asking for it is a little condescending. They asked for help with their puppies – give them help with their puppies.

  • Maybe someone can help them find adequate housing for themselves and their dogs. Seems as though their dogs just had a litter and they are selling the pups. Not sure what else is expected of them to be honest.

    • I would probably have purchased all of the puppies and then tried to get them to good homes. Hard to say but the dog in the photo here looks like a pit or pit mix. I can imagine the people who would pay for the puppies and the lives the puppies will end up having.

      • I should say, I would have offered to purchase all of the puppies and the mother dog to avoid this issue in the future as well. In fact, I’d go do that now if I thought they were still there. Does the OP know how much they wanted for the puppies?

        • maybe the mother dog is these peoples’ companion animal, is treated well, and is socially bonded to the people she lives with. that tends to happen with dogs in case you didn’t know. dogs actually live as feral animals and don’t need to be coddled indoors. and they are obviously highly social creatures who form bonds with the humans they live with. i agree it would be lovely if this animal was neutered to avoid bringing more puppies into the world.

        • The puppies are still there today. Saw them about ten minutes ago.

    • First off, breeding “backyard” dogs to make money is shitty. The puppies either get purchased by equally idiotic people for breeding and dog fighting or they die since they usually have zero medical care.

      So what is expected of these people is to not continue breeding their dogs. But since they are homeless and this is their money making device, it will continue.

      • I missed the part where someone actually talked to these people and they revealed their master plan for making millions by breeding stray dogs. It’s entirely possible – and far more likely – that two stray dogs did what they do naturally and these folks are trying to place the pups.

        God, the homeless-shaming runs deep.

    • It’s illegal to sell puppies/kittens less than 8 weeks of age.

  • ah

    DC was supposedly doing something about the homeless located there last Fall. Maybe only because winter was coming? (And some argued they weren’t actually doing anything other than running them off)


    The situation isn’t good for puppies or humans.

  • So the city is going to come take away the puppies and stick them in a shelter where they will be adopted by people who will assign them human traits (“Winston loves watching The Voice, but he hates America’s Got Talent”), while leaving the humans to live without shelter, and without human dignity.

    • yes how unfair since those puppies should be able to take care of themselves…darn the city for trying to get these puppies adopted by people who can love and take care of them responsibly

    • So perhaps you’d like to offer shelter to the humans in your home? What do you propose the city do? I also doubt the city is going take the puppies from them or do anything about it unless they willingly give them up. At minimum the adult dogs should be spayed and neutered, but I’m sure that won’t happen either.

    • you should by all means invite some homeless people to live on your couch and feed them.

      • I do. Mostly teens. But I have a guest room, so they don’t have to stay on the couch.

        • Sounds like your couch is free then? You don’t find it a little bit heartless of you that you allow your couch to remain unoccupied overnight while there are humans in this city deprived of shelter and dignity?

    • For the puppies, its a better outcome than what would happen if they were sold to random people driving by an underpass.

    • No, the city – if it does anything – is going to take the dogs and puppies and most likely euthanize them all because there are currently 1,952 dogs available for adoption on petfinder.com within 25 miles of this location, 390 of them puppies.

      And if they aren’t taken by Animal Control, they will be sold to other irresponsible people, not vaccinated, not fixed, not given heartworm or flea protection, not well fed and soon producing more puppies that must be killed.

  • 🙁 poor puppies. I hope they find better homes.

    • The difference is the people had choices, they made poor life choices. The dogs/puppies shouldn’t be subjected to their mistakes.

      • Hey, you forgot your sarcasm tag!

        • No sarcasm.

          Your choices in life have consequences….. It’s a fact.

          • Yeah, people are hard. They have free will and they’re complicated and they’re never as good as you want them to be. Save the puppies! Saving puppies gives only good feelings all the time!

      • I didn’t realize you knew these people’s back story and how they became homeless. Sometimes bad things happen despite someone’s best efforts.

      • “Poor life choices” – that phrase just drips with privilege. Nobody here has any idea of the circumstances that led to their homelessness.

  • The homeless couple asked for money for puppy supplies, so don’t blame the OP for thinking of providing the puppy food that they supposedly want. Caring about the welfare of humans and animals is not mutually exclusive. It’s possible that the homeless couple has other options but is choosing to live in a tent at that location. Believe it or not, some people don’t like homeless shelters and/or choose to spend any money they have on things other than a traditional house/apartment. Neither the homeless couple nor the dogs/puppies should have to go without food and shelter.

  • POPville readers, saving pets from dastardly homeless people since ’16.

  • OP doesn’t say that they could care less about the homeless people. It’s sad all around.

    Just keep in mind there is a humane society that can make sure those animals get proper care, which I’m sure they weren’t getting in a baby pool. If there was a similar agency that could help the homeless, I’m sure someone would have called them to help them out too.

    Those puppies can’t help themselves and walk themselves to the humane society.

  • I’m sure all these people piling on the OP for being concerned about the welfare of dogs spend their every waking hour helping the homeless and working towards social justice.

    • That’s the awesome thing about helping others: it DOESN’T TAKE every waking hour. If you’d ever helped anyone, you’d know that an hour or two a week will change a life. Hell, even an hour a month will make a dent. But you’re so convinced that they deserve to be homeless that you’d rather watch The Bachelor than open your mind for a minute and *gasp* connect with a human who probably doesn’t shop at J Crew.

      • I’ll take sanctimonious for a 1,000 Alex. The awesome thing about giving a shit is you can do it about dogs and people.

        • Eh, I’m not sure taking a cell phone pic and writing into Popville amounts to much in terms of ‘giving a shit.’ Sure, it technically qualifies, but at the end of the day you’ve given up all of 2 minutes of your day in what appears to mostly be an effort to make yourself feel morally superior. I’m sure the pups would thank you if they could read.

  • Since when is DC just permitting tent cities? Sets a really bad precedent and is not sanitary.

    • Actually, I’d rather have this tent city in this location than another 100 people sleeping on the streets. Although I also realize it isn’t a great thing to have such an attractive free and comfortable camp ground for anyone who wants to hang out there. We have always had places for “hobo” camps, down by the tracks etc. and this one it is far enough removed from neighborhoods to have minimal impact.

  • I will build a wall around this tent city. Your good intentions will never get through and the puppies and homeless will stay put in tent city. Tent city will pay for the wall with proceeds from their puppy sales. These are clearly bad people and in a rape gang that sells drugs.

    P.S. If the puppies can do landscaping, hit me up.

  • I’m sad it made you sad to see the dogs. I’m even sadder you don’t seem as sad over the homeless individuals

  • Thank you to OP. I first reported this to the animal control emergency hotline three weeks ago when I saw the two dogs playing off leash with their owner, and the mama was very pregnant. Animal control said they would send someone out. Washington Humane Society is working with them and some volunteers. I don’t know those details, but I do know there’s support.

    When I drove by yesterday the mama was panting in the pool with her puppies, and the male dog was tied up to the post right on the edge of rush hour traffic. The bright side is they’re leashed and being fed. The three men sitting on the edge of the camp, closest to the road were clearly under the influence of something.

    If anyone has info about what support the humans in this camp are receiving, please comment. The only info I have found is the WTOP reports from last year about the space across 27th. Thanks for posting, PoP.

    • Also, the dog in the pic is the male. The mama dog is black/gray. Right after she had puppies they put the sign out re: selling puppies. They’re not to be selling them now, but that’s not to say it isn’t happening.

  • All these comments and no one has mentions the electric(?) fan inside the tent? I drive past here a couple time a week and I can’t figure out how that fan is powered…

  • I also saw the sign and puppies in the kiddie pool last week and called the humane society to report. Does anyone know what the outcome was? Were the puppies and nursing mother taken in by animal rescue?

    • I contacted the Humane Society about this a week or so ago and they reminded me that there are no laws against having a litter or selling puppies (however there are regulations). They told me they went to visit the site and puppies and mom are thriving and in good health and they’d continue to monitor the situation.

  • The OP heart was in the right place I guess. If you saw adult dogs there the day before what makes you think they are no longer around and that the pups are left to feed only on puppy chow?

    The sad part about all of this is that the owner will lose what maybe their only companion. Giving that a large majority of the homeless are dealing with mental health issues, this could be a big blow for the owner to loose their pets (not the ones they were selling to give them a good home and gain some income)

    • As I was mentioning above… it’s illegal to sell puppies/kittens less than 8 weeks of age (because they’re supposed to be kept with their mothers until then).

  • Ok people, how about we refrain from thinking having an iphone means you should not be homeless or that your homelessness is your fault? Can you imagine how hard it is to take care of yourself and possibly others without a phone? A way to communicate? Apply for housing? Apply for a job (which almost always requires an address?)

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