COLUMBUS, Ohio — They were only days old and left to die.
Last Friday, a good Samaritan discovered a box of seven tiny puppies, abandoned and alone, and delivered the wriggly bunch to the Franklin County Dog Shelter.
“Obviously they were very hungry and a little cold when they came in, but we immediately had staff just take them, and we have some supplies here to feed them and keep them warm,” said Kaye Persinger, director of Franklin County Animal Care and Control.
Persinger isn’t sure where exactly the puppies were abandoned or how long they had been there. What she does know is that they wouldn’t have survived long on their own.
They have been huddled together with a heating pad since they were found. And they require around-the-clock care, with bottle-feeding by hand every two hours.
“It’s pretty much the same as if you have a real baby at home,” Persinger said. “And it’s expensive. The formula’s not cheap. So if you call and let us know what the circumstances are, we’re going to help you, and thank goodness for all the fosters that we have that are willing to do it because seven of these are too much for one person.”
Right now, two shelter staff members are splitting the duties, with one caring for three of the puppies and the other caring for four. And the puppies, five female and two male, all now have names – Miki, Mitski, Mandy, Billie, Sparrow, Finch and Lark.
“We don’t know what happened with the mother, and it would have been nice to know that,” Persinger said. “Also, if you have a dog that’s had puppies, and some dogs just aren’t going to take care of them, for whatever reason, we’ll take them, and we’ll also spay the female for you or even neuter the male if you have a male dog around that gets out all the time.”
The point is – the folks at the shelter want to help, not punish. While drop-offs are by appointment only right now, if that’s not possible, they’ll find a way to get the puppies to a safe place.
“You’re not going to get in trouble,” Persinger said. “That’s not our goal. Our goal is to help you. If you do have other animals that aren’t spayed and neutered, we want to help with that, too.”
The puppies will be up for adoption when they’re ready. Before that, they can be part of the foster-to-adopt program.