The RCMP rescued seventeen husky puppies living out in the snow in British Columbia's southern Interior earlier this week.
The police came across the eight-to-10-week-old pups as well as two adult dogs while attending to an unrelated animal control complaint at a residential property on Dec. 23. The dogs appeared to have limited access to food or water.
When confronted, the owner surrendered the dogs to animal control who held them overnight before the local B.C. SPCA branch took over their care on Christmas Eve. The SPCA says it is withholding the exact location of the puppies for their protection.
"It's a true Christmas miracle that these puppies were saved from neglect and brought in from the cold," says B.C. SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty. "We are grateful that the RCMP and animal control officers were able to get them immediate attention.
"These dogs are very susceptible at that young age and need a great deal of work and socialization to ensure that they become happy, healthy, well-socialized adults," added Moriarty.
The SPCA is now investigating the incident and may recommend cruelty charges against the former owner of the dogs. According to Moriarty, similar cases of neglect resulted in a recommendation.
Though some may be eager to take home one of these pups, they won't be ready for adoption until late January.
Before then, dog lovers can take part in naming the 17 little ones through a naming competition set to begin next week. Anyone interested can check the organization's Facebook page for updates.