Someone was walking down a road in Vermont one day when he stumbled discovered a crate with nine abandoned pups snuggled up inside, their umbilical cords still attached.
The puppies had evidently only been born a few hours ago, and the Good Samaritan recognized they needed care right away. He took the puppies to a tiny local shelter, but it lacked the facilities to care for puppies so early, so workers called the Central Vermont Humane Society (CVHS) to see if they might assist.
“They arrived to our shelter within a few hours of being discovered, and we had prepared a room in our shelter particularly for them,” Erika Holm, director of operations at CVHS, told The Dodo. “We started bottle- and syringe-feeding the little puppies right away, and devised a strategy to make sure they were cared for 24 hours a day.”
Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing what happened to the puppies’ mother, and she has yet to be found. CVHS has sent a notice to vets across the state, requesting that anybody who comes across a dog who might be the mother contact them immediately.
“No one witnessed these puppies being discarded, and their condition provides no indications as to what happened to the mother,” Holm added. “We hope she is still alive and well. We sympathize with her and understand the anguish she must have felt when her babies were snatched from her.”
The puppies appeared to be in good health when they arrived at the shelter, but the staff is still concerned about their well-being, knowing that with puppies this young, anything may happen at any time. They must be fed every four hours and have their bladders and bowels manually stimulated. Because the pups require so much attention and care, staff and volunteers have been working around the clock to ensure that they have the best chance of growing up to be healthy and happy dogs.
“We’re enthusiastic about their possibilities, but we’re also realistic,” Holm added. “There are a handful of tiny ones that need extra particular care to keep them on track, as well as a couple of larger ones. We all know their condition might change at any time, but each day they live increases our confidence in our prospects of success.”
The puppies are now ten days old and battling for their lives. One of the puppies, however, did not make it and passed on Friday morning. While everyone is saddened by this loss, staff and volunteers remain upbeat and committed to helping the surviving eight tiny fighters.
The puppies won’t be ready for adoption for a while, but the hope is that they’ll all be strong enough to find loving permanent homes soon.