By Suzanne Pender
THREE newborn puppies that were abandoned in a plastic bag and left dangling over a river a few weeks ago are now thriving in ISPCA care.
ISPCA Centre manager and veterinary nurse Denise McCausland said: “We’ve been caring for the pups – Fern, Alex and Glen – around the clock since they arrived and it was touch and go whether any of the puppies would survive. As a veterinary nurse, I know just how important it is that they get enough fluids for both nourishment and hydration and also that they expel frequently and easily. Too much or too little and the situation can change for the worse really, really quickly. During that first night, I hand-fed them milk by syringe nearly every hour.
“The puppies were weighed every few hours to check their gums for colour and that their little bellies were comfortably full and stretched. If their skin is too loose, their gums discoloured or their urine too dark, we would need to intervene immediately”, said Denise.
“I really didn’t rest more than 15 minutes at a time for those first few nights. They were placed under a heat lamp to keep them warm and a ticking clock helped calm them when they cried for their mom. It was just so heart-breaking. They were also suffering from the shock and stress of suddenly being orphaned. Now they have almost doubled in weight and are starting to behave like puppies should. It is really wonderful that they have all survived and are now able to comfort each other after such a terrible start in life.
“It breaks my heart to tell you these rescue cases aren’t one-offs,” said Denise.
Although Fern, Alex and Glen, who were discovered in Donegal, have pulled through, they still need a lot of critical care and will need to stay at the ISPCA Animal Rehabilitation Centre for several more weeks.
Many of the ISPCA’s fundraising activities have been cancelled or postponed, so kind donations from animal lovers are more important than ever.
The ISPCA issued an urgent appeal for information concerning the abandonment of these three puppies, but no-one has yet come forward.