A litter of puppies believed to have been only a few hours old have been rescued after being found dumped in the woods.
The newborn dogs, who it is thought could be French bulldogs, were found still attached to their umbilical cords by a member of the public walking through Beeley Woods in Sheffield, the Daily Mirror reports.
They were then rushed to a nearby vets and are now in the care of the Sheffield branch of the RSPCA, whose 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. They were also very cold.
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"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 and is busy feeding him every couple of hours along with fellow RSPCA inspector Leanne Booth.
The RSPCA is now investigating to find out who is responsible for abandoning the puppies.
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 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.
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"But abandoning tiny puppies like this is so irresponsible and cruel. Please, please 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, added: "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."
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 visit their website or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181.
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