'Worst state they’ve ever seen': More puppies dumped
FOR the third time in seven days, Bowen animal rescuers are desperately trying to save five dumped puppies found in the "worst state they've ever seen an animal".
The puppies were found on Monday at the Don River near Russells Crossing, covered in fly eggs and severely dehydrated.
A group of young boys were responsible for handing in the puppies after they heard their whimpering from the banks of the river.
After spending the night at a veterinary clinic on oxygen and fluids, both the animal rescuers and vets are working tirelessly to save them, Helping Hands Animal Rescue Co-founder Kirsty Short said.
"They did an amazing job but unfortunately two weren't strong enough," she said.
"Because they are so little we had to be careful not to bring their body temperature down too low.
"We had them wrapped up, trying to pick off the fly eggs, which were eating away at their little bodies."
The three surviving puppies are getting stronger but "not out of the woods" Ms Short said.
"There's one other one, we've tried everything but we don't think she'll make it through the night," she said.
"Right now we're giving her love, milk and her medications, and praying for a miracle.
"They are getting stronger, but they aren't out of the woods by any means."
Ms Short said the vet suspected the puppies had been there about a week and clearly hadn't gotten the nutrients needed from their mother, estimating that they were only two or three weeks old.
A frustrated Ms Short said if people were too embarrassed to contact an animal rescue that they could "put them in a box at the vets."
"We are screaming from the rooftops that we are here to help," she said.
"Don't put them down the river. It's just not right."
With the media coverage and social media presence that Helping Hands Animal Rescue has created, Ms Short said she didn't know whether it was a "lack of knowledge or a lack of care" that led to the dumping.
"They aren't an object or possession to be thrown away," she said.
"They are living things and they deserve to be treated like that.
"It takes its toll on us, the vets and the poor little animal that doesn't deserve it."
Ms Short said the incident had inspired them to look into other options to help make desexing become more accessible in the community.
"We are looking at the National Desexing Network and we will be talking to the council about a way to lower the cost of desexing for people who genuinely can't afford it," she said.
"If you can't afford to desex them, you can't afford to have them."
Ms Short said they had received the vet bill for the most recently dumped puppies, which "nearly made us cry".
While they vow to manage, they say any help is appreciated.
There is more information about the best way to donate on the Helping Hands Animal Rescue Bowen Facebook page, or phone directly on 0459 538 093.