Five newborn puppies were dumped in a bin in a “horrific case of aggravated cruelty” on Sunday night.
A passerby heard the puppies whimpering and found them tied inside a plastic bag in a bin on Meander Valley Road at Carrick.
RSPCA inspector Oliver Breeze said three puppies were found dead, but thanks to the swift actions of a witness who brought them to the Animal Medical Centre in Launceston, two were able to be saved.
Investigations into the cause of death were ongoing, but Mr Breeze said it was likely the three puppies died from hypothermia or exposure. The dogs are believed to be staffordshire or mastiff, and were less than 24 hours old.
“Someone in the area obviously has a female dog that has given birth recently,” Mr Breeze said.
“If we can ascertain who that is we will pursue charges against the person or persons in relation to the significant act of aggravated cruelty,” he said.
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Animal Medical Centre veterinary nurse Nadia Butler said dumping animals was a gutless act, and the person responsible should’ve brought the puppies in and surrendered them.
“It is dreadful. It makes me angry and it is heartbreaking for the animals,” she said.
The puppies will require round-the-clock care for the next few weeks.
Miss Butler will feed them every two to three hours - even during the night – and ensure they are constantly heated, toileted and cleaned.
“So they will be with me everywhere I go ... for the next couple of weeks,” she said.
“This is why I’m in the industry - to do my best to help those animals.”
Mr Breeze and Miss Butler said if anyone is having trouble caring for a pet, they can surrender them at a veterinary clinic or the RSPCA.
“Leaving them out like this is a horrific case of neglect,” Mr Breeze said.
“If it wasn’t for the good work of our staff here (Animal Medical Centre) and the witness the dogs would’ve died a horrific death,” he said.
Miss Butler said the centre works closely with the RSPCA when it comes to surrendered animals.
Anyone with information should contact the Animal Cruelty Hotline on 1300 139 947.