Published: 15:09, 16 April 2021
| Updated: 16:36, 16 April 2021
Four puppies were abandoned and left for dead in Kent woodlands, possibly because they were too hard to sell on.
Digby, Pip, Luna and Eevie were taken to an animal rescue charity in January after a concerned member of the public found them at the end of Ladywood Road in Dartford.
At just four weeks old, the puppies were far too young to be away from their mother and had nothing but a cardboard box to protect them from the bitter weather.
Experts believe if they hadn't been found, it is highly unlikely the litter would have survived such challenging conditions.
Now the pups have been found new homes, thanks to staff at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre.
As well as being taken from their mother at such a vulnerable age, it was also found that all four puppies had inguinal hernias, a condition where part of the inside of the abdomen protrudes through an opening in the muscle wall of the groin area.
The condition would have made the puppies harder to sell on, as they would need surgery when they’re older.
Battersea staff believe this may have been why the litter was abandoned.
The puppies are just some of the animals Battersea has taken in during lockdown.
The charity has continued to open its doors to dogs and cats in need and is urging people who do need to give up their pets, for whatever reason, to bring them to a rescue centre where they can be cared for and matched with new owners.
Lisa Stockwell, team leader at Battersea Brands Hatch, said: “Due to the fact that Digby, Pip, Luna and Eevie all had hernias when they were found, we think it’s likely that their breeder heartlessly threw them away as they would have been harder to sell on to new homes.
“Thankfully, Battersea is providing the puppies with all of the veterinary needs they require, but had these puppies been left for a long time in such cold and dire conditions it’s certain that they wouldn’t have survived, especially being so young.
“We’d urge anyone who needs to give up their pet to bring them to a rescue centre like Battersea instead of abandoning them; this way you can ensure that your pet is safe and has the best chance of finding a second loving home. We’d never judge anyone for needing our help and are here for every dog or cat regardless of age, breed, behaviour or medical concerns.
“After a tough start in life, we’re really pleased that Digby, Pip, Luna and Eevie have now been rehomed and are now beginning their journey into becoming well-rounded and much-loved family pets.”
Kate Ham, who has adopted one of the puppies, said: “Despite having a bit of a rough start in life, Pip is growing up to be a very confident young dog with plenty of energy to burn. It’s sad to think that had she not been bought into Battersea, her future could have looked very different to what it is now- we just couldn’t imagine our lives without her.”
If you can no longer care for your pet, contact Battersea or your local rescue centre where help and advice is available. Visit battersea.org.uk to find out more.