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'Bone skinny' puppies found abandoned on B.C. forest road expected to recover

Anyone who knows who abandoned the puppies is asked to call the provincial animal helpline.

Four puppies who were recently found abandoned in poor condition on a forest service road in Kamloops, B.C., are now in the care of BC SPCA. 

A group of four strangers came together to help rescue the puppies and bring them to safety on July 23.

Kelly Kennedy, the owner of Sageview Ranch, took in the puppies after they were found. She says they arrived "bone skinny." At first, the dogs were so hungry they threw up after drinking water.

BC SPCA in Kamloops picked up the puppies on Monday. The dogs — thought to be a German short-haired pointer mixed with a border collie — have seen a veterinarian and are now on a re-feeding plan, says Daria Evans, the animal centre manager in Kamloops.

"They were definitely very underweight. Their hip bones were sticking out quite a bit,” Evans says.

Evans said she thinks their distended bellies are due to worms, but they have no injuries and no obvious signs of illness or disease.

"They are doing great, they are,” says Evans. "It’s wonderful to see despite everything. They are super friendly, they're affectionate.”

She added: “all signs point to them having a happy, healthy life.”

Still looking for those responsible

Abandoning an animal is against the prevention of cruelty to animals and is illegal in British Columbia. So far, the BC SPCA has not received any tips or information about who may have abandoned the dogs. 

"If anyone did have that kind of information, I would ask them to please call the provincial animal helpline and from there, our call centre team can create a file and begin the process towards an investigation,” says Evans.

Anyone who has information about the puppies or who abandoned them can contact 1-855-622-7722. 

The puppies will go up for adoption in the next few months.

“They are going to have to sit with us for some time. It will depend on how well they gain the weight back,” Evans says. 

Before they can spay and neuter the animals, they need to recover from their weight loss. She encourages everyone to please spay and neuter their dogs. 

Bursting at the seams with dogs

The Kamloops SPCA is currently caring for 11 puppies. That represents a significant increase from the past, Evans said.

"It's very rare that we would even get puppies in a shelter only a few years ago. And now it seems like we are getting a lot of them,” she says. 

The latest four puppies to enter her facility are no surprise to her. 

“Unfortunately, it is something that we do see not infrequently. I think with the cost of living going up and with the cost of that care and the challenges of finding pet-friendly housing,” she says. 

Evans says almost every BC SPCA across the province is dealing with a similar situation. Still, if someone is struggling to care for their dog, she asks that they reach out to a local centre right away. 

“We do our best to try and find placements for them, or to explore other options for people who are really in need,” she says.