The RSPCA has issued an urgent appeal to find the person responsible for dumping eight puppies in a remote rubbish bin, causing two of them to die.
The five-week old Kelpie-cross puppies were found by a passing motorist on Sunday, who heard whimpering coming from a bin at a rest stop between Wigley Flat and Kingston in South Australia.
The woman and her-six-year-old daughter kicked open the lid of the bin to find two old dog food bags containing the puppies, which were squashed beneath a pile of rubbish in 25-degree heat.
The bags had coat hanger wire wrapped through the opening. The woman manage to unwind the wire and open the bags.
Two puppies in the bottom of one bag were already unresponsive, while the others were barely surviving.
In a desperate rescue mission, the woman contacted family who had travelled ahead and asked them to return and help transport the surviving puppies home to Gawler.
The dogs were then divided between three cars, with family members wrapping the two seriously ill puppies in towels and rubbing them to try and keep them alive.
One of them ended up dying on the way, while the other was euthanised on humane grounds after the litter was delivered to the vet.
The remaining six puppies, which were all flea-infested and dehydrated, are now in the care of RSPCA South Australia’s Lonsdale shelter. Despite their poor condition they are expected to make a full recovery.
RSPCA South Australia Chief Inspector Andrea Lewis said dumping the puppies fell into “the highest end of callous treatment of animals”.
“These puppies were found purely by chance, and we have no idea how long they had been there,” she said.
“You would have to assume that whoever did this did not want those puppies to survive, because this person has not only left them in a remote location but they have also put these young animals inside tightly secured bags, and then put the bin’s lid down.”
Ms Lewis encouraged anyone with information on who might be responsible to come forward.
“If you know of anyone who had a litter of puppies that seem to have suddenly disappeared, or has a female Kelpie-type dog that is showing signs of having recently given birth, but there are no puppies, please contact us,” she said.
“Someone might know who did this, and if they do, then they should report what they know to us because whoever did this should be held to account.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence under South Australia’s Animal Welfare Act, and anyone found guilty of such offence can face up to two years in prison or a $20,000 fine.
A conviction could attract higher penalties because of the aggravated circumstances that led to the death of two puppies.
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