More than two dozen dogs are in need of new homes after an outdoor animal shelter discovered multiple litters that had been abandoned early Thursday morning.
One adult mother and 24 puppies younger than 8 weeks old were found by the city of Delano’s Animal Control Department.
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Though the puppies were not hurt or showing any signs of abuse, they would not have survived the night outside in the cold, so an emergency plea was immediately sent to nonprofit Tiny Loving Canines (TLC), a volunteer-run rescue shop in Ventura County.
“How do you say no to them knowing that they were going to die tonight?” TLC Board Member Sarah Freeman told NBC4.
The pups won't be able to go up for adoption until they are up to date in terms of shots, microchips and neutering -- something that will prove costly and require public donations.
TLC will be accepting donations onsite and on its website to come up with the hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars needed for the puppies’ medical needs.
The pups were found at Delano’s outdoor animal shelter in Kern County. Despite the distance between the two organizations, TLC arranged a meet-up because of the cold weather conditions.
Volunteer drivers from the animal shelter and TLC rushed to the organizations’ midpoint, Frazier Park (map), Thursday evening to find the dogs a safe, temporary home at TLC’s indoor shop in the Simi Valley Town Center.
"All the puppies are settled in, safe, warm, and have full bellies!" TLC tweeted to NBC4 Thursday night.
Details on how the puppies were found Thursday morning were not immediately available, and officials from the Delano Animal Control Department were not available for comment.
Freeman was told there were three separate reports of dogs found -- all within a couple of hours -- leading her to believe the instances could be related.
Because of the age of the dogs and the fact that one dump included 20 puppies, Freeman thinks they could have been dumped by a puppy mill breeder.
“Many times when people drop puppies off, they are embarrassed,” Freeman said. “So they leave them in places where they’ll get found.”
The drops included a diverse range of puppies, 6 to 7 weeks old, that include what Freeman said looks to be terriers, pit bulls and shepherd mixes, among others.
Freeman encouraged interested adopters and passionate puppy lovers to network the animals and their story -- spreading the message via sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.