A litter of newborn puppies with their umbilical cords still attached have been dumped in a woods. The pups, possibly French-bulldog types – were found by a passerby walking through Beeley Woods, near Middlewood, Sheffield.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector, Sara Jordan said: “The two male and three female puppies were only hours old with their umbilical cords still attached and were extremely vulnerable. The finders rushed them to a local vet who checked them over and estimated that they were just a few hours-old. They were also very cold so it appears they had already been in the woods for a short time before they were found.
“Staff at the vets warmed them up slowly before they were taken into the care of the RSPCA Sheffield branch. Each of the pups were given to one of five dedicated volunteers who will now foster a pup and are now hand-rearing them round-the-clock.”
Sara herself is one of those who has taken on a pup – she has named him Otter – and is busy feeding him every couple of hours along with fellow RSPCA inspector Leanne Booth.
Sara recently hand-reared another puppy found dumped which was among a litter of 11 who were rescued from a wooded area off Heath Lane, Huddersfield.
In this case, the finders rushed them to a local vet who checked them all over and estimated that they were just a few hours old and found that they still had their umbilical cords attached. The pup Sara called Tippy was the only one to survive and has now found her forever home.
The RSPCA is now investigating to find out who is responsible for abandoning the puppies in Sheffield on September 13.
Sara added: “I am 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 and if left much longer they could have easily died.
“Times are tough at the moment and we understand that many families are struggling to cope, particularly given the rising cost of living, and we fear that we’ll see many, many more pets being relinquished to charities or abandoned because their owners simply don’t know where to turn.
“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 at the time or who knows a dog who recently gave birth but doesn’t have a litter to nurse should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line, confidentially, on 0300 123 8018.
Hayley Crookes, animal lead at the Sheffield branch of the RSPCA, said: “These gorgeous little pups were found by a very caring member of the public who got them to the vets. The practice then got in touch with us to see if we could help because we have an amazing team of hand rearers here at Sheffield.
“We don’t know for sure what these little loves will grow into, or what happened to their mum, but what we do know is they are now in the best place to have a real shot at survival and their happy ever afters.”
Round-the-clock expert care
Dedicated RSPCA staff are now providing the puppies, who should be with their mothers until at least eight-weeks-old, with round the clock care.
Sara added: “The puppies will need to be hand-reared and require very intense care as they’re completely reliant on us, as like they would be their mother.
“I’m caring for a little boy called Otter who needs feeding every couple of hours and I have to take him everywhere with me and keep a very close eye on him. He has a favourite soft toy to to cuddle up to as well (pictured).
“Hand-rearing is incredibly difficult and does not always work out – but happily these five are getting stronger and stronger every day.”
The puppies will remain with their fosterers until they’re old enough to begin their searches for new homes.