The recent discovery of two severely neglected dogs found abandoned in a Rochester home has prompted a national outcry from humanitarians and caring individuals, and led to a promotional campaign to prompt concerned individuals from all walks to safeguard the lives of companion animals.

CARE Southcoast, led by Ruth Marshman of Lakeville, and her corps of dedicated volunteers, has organized a promotional campaign entitled “See Something, Say Something” as a call to action to help animals, whether the creatures are cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters or other animals.

“We are trying to bring awareness to the concerns of animal abuse, neglect and abandonment,” said Marshman, who says that she encounters these issues every day and there is no end in sight.

Two months ago, two mixed-breed canines were found emaciated and starving when a utility worker discovered the dogs in a home whose owner had moved away.

The worker noticed a strong urine odor coming from the property and decided to investigate. The police were immediately notified and the animals were confiscated by animal control.

“If not for that woman, the dogs would have died,” Marshman said, adding that it is everyone’s responsibility to be observant and speak out for those who are voiceless.

The dogs’ owner was tracked down and charged with two counts of animal cruelty and two counts of failing to license a dog.

Fortunately, the dogs were rehabilitated and one canine went to a home in the Boston area, while the other dog is now living on the SouthCoast.

Marshman said that the young dog, Bailey, now age 2, was adopted from CARE Southcoast in Acushnet as a young puppy.

“We did all of our normal vetting, including veterinarian and personal reference checks and a home visitation,” said Marshman, who has served as the shelter’s president for five years.

“Everything was great,” she said. “The client passed with flying colors at the time.”

The shelter director says she learned from animal control officials that the former owner moved away and the dogs were left the dog behind to starve.

“The owner left them there knowing they were dying of starvation,” Marshman said. “People must have known that he had the dogs, and yet they said nothing.”

Marshman said that the unfortunate saga is a tale she hears all too often, as more people cannot keep their pets and don’t have the financial resources to pay a surrender fee.

CARE doesn’t charge a surrender fee, unlike some area shelters.

“There is no need to neglect or abandon an animal,” she said. “There are resources available to people in the community. People just have to use them.”

For owners who can’t keep an animal, Marshman suggests calling a local rescue, shelter or animal control officer.

“Don’t just toss the animal,” she said. “We are trying to bring this very important issue to light that it’s not OK to let an animal to be neglected or suffer from any form of abuse. All you need to do is pick up the phone and make a call.”

As CARE Southcoast launches its public awareness campaign, “See Something, Say Something,” the shelter is selling tee shirts and other promotional items to help spread the vital message. For more information, visit the shelter’s Facebook page.

Marshman said that the shelter needs foster homes for cats and dogs, volunteers and financial donations to help defray the cost of veterinary expenses.

“We need a new building,” Marshman said. “Our needs are getting bigger and bigger but we just keep on plugging.”