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Hungry puppies forced to eat sticks, rocks now in care of SPCA

Mar 02 2012

Seven badly emaciated German shepherd-cross puppies that ate sticks and rocks to ease their hunger are now in the hands of the Nanaimo SPCA.

The stricken puppies and their mother, also in poor condition, were turned over by their Ladysmith-area owner after SPCA Const.

Julie Hitchcock found them by accident while on another call nearby. The puppies included six 12week-olds and a nine-month-old from a previous litter.

Hitchcock said that on the "body conditioning" scale for dogs, where one is emaciated and nine is obese, the puppies didn't even rate a zero.

She said the mother was shaking violently due to dehydration when she was found and was using only three legs because of an injury.

It was "heartbreaking" to watch the mother continue her efforts to nurse, despite what she was going through, Hitchcock said.

She said the dogs had no access to food, water or shelter.

One of the puppies will need a partial foot amputation and full amputation of its tail - both due to infections caused by untreated cuts. Examinations of stomach contents made it clear that the puppies resorted to eating sticks and rock, she said.

All of the dogs were taken to Island Veterinary Hospital for treatment. At present, five puppies are at the Nanaimo SPCA shelter, one is in foster care, and the mother and ninemonthold remain under veterinary care.

Charges of animal cruelty are pending.

Donations to help with the needed surgeries and other costs of caring for the dogs can be made at www.spca.bc.ca/support or by calling 250-758-8444.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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