Five newborn puppies with umbilical cords still attached dumped in Sheffield woods
RSPCA staff and volunteers are hand-rearing the tiny pups.
Dedicated RSPCA staff and volunteers are providing round-the-clock care to a litter of newborn puppies who were found dumped in a woodland just hours after being born.
The litter of five newborn pups - possibly French-bulldog types - were found by a passerby walking through Beeley Woods, near Middlewood, on Tuesday, September 13.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Sara Jordan, who is now investigating to find the person responsible, 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 vet 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'll now foster a pup and are hand-rearing them round-the-clock.
Sara has taken a pup naming him Otter. She's now busy feeding him every couple of hours along with fellow RSPCA inspector Leanne Booth.
Sara recently hand-reared another puppy found dumped among a litter of 11 who were rescued from a wooded area off Heath Lane, Huddersfield, on Monday 20 June.
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 13 September. 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. 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 vet. 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're now in the best place to have a real shot at survival and their happy ever afters.
The branch has launched a fundraising appeal to help pay for the care of the puppies and donations can be made online.
Or if people can instead help with donations such as puppy milk and pads they can have a look at the branch's Amazon wishlist online.
Round-the-clock expert care
Dedicated RSPCA staff are now providing the puppies, who should haven been 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 - 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 cuddle up to as well.
Hand-rearing is incredibly difficult and doesn't 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.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate online or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.