A cruel owner has abandoned a crate full of 20 puppies on a lay-by in Essex.
Thankfully, the pups were spotted by someone who was walking in the Blackmore area and called the RSPCA on Friday, 29 July.
Inspector Sian Ridley and Animal Rescue Officer Enola Evans attended the call where they found one of the pups was very weak.
She was being kept warm by a member of the public before Enola took over, keeping her safe on the way to the vets with the other pooches.
Sadly, the puppy wasn’t strong enough, and the vets made the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep.
The other 19 puppies, which all weighed less than a bag of sugar each at the time, were thankfully in far better health.
They’re all believed to be between six and eight weeks old.
It’s thought the pups – of which there are 14 males and five females – are from different litters.
While staff aren’t positive, they believe the larger ones could be cockapoos and the smaller ones could be jackapoos.
Sian said: ‘When I was told how many puppies there were I actually thought there was a mistake – I couldn’t believe that someone had abandoned 20 puppies.
‘They were all quite scared and timid when we arrived, and it was just heartbreaking to see them all huddled in the one cage – they looked a pitiful sight.’
Staff were initially worried the poor pups could have deadly parvovirus, but the surviving pooches were all in decent health given the state they were found in.
They were treated with fluids with glucose over the weekend, but will still need monitoring.
Many of the pups have already been offered homes by staff at the vets office in which they’ve been cared for, and all of them are currently in foster care.
They’ve been given alphabetical names and are called: Albert, Boris, Casper, Dylon, Elenor, Freddie, Guinevere, Hank, Irene, Jeremiah, Kaleb, Luna, Morris, Neville, Oliver, Peter, Quinton, Rupert, and Saffron.
The charity asks that the public does not call any centres at the moment regarding rehoming as the pups will still need some additional care, and the RSPCA needs those phone lines free to deal with emergencies.
‘I want to say a huge thank you to all the passers-by who stayed to help these pups and also to the vets who were able to take on the care of pups over a weekend at such short notice,’ said Sian.
‘It is difficult to know where these have come from. It could have been that they may be from a puppy farm, but they were friendly, clean and did not have fleas, so they may not have been kept in a shed without human contact.
‘It is also unusual that such a large number of the pups are male, and I wonder if that was the reason they had been abandoned – because they wouldn’t be useful for breeding or are harder to sell on.
‘We were concerned they may have had parvo and that this was the reason they had been abandoned, but that’s not the case and apart from some having worms they all appear to be quite healthy.
‘I’m keen to hear from anyone who may know who is responsible for abandoning these puppies in such an irresponsible way. They were so young and vulnerable, it is likely that someone just drove up in the lay-by, got them out of the car and then just left them – so I am keen to speak to anyone who may have seen a suspicious vehicle in the area on Friday.
‘Times are tough at the moment, but abandoning tiny puppies like this is so irresponsible and cruel. Please, please never abandon your pet but ask for help before things get so desperate.’
Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or has any information that could assist the RSPCA’s investigation should contact the charity’s appeal line, confidentially, on 0300 123 8018.
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