More than 20 puppies rescued after being left without food or water

Over 20 puppies have been rescued by Gables Dogs and Cats Home Credit: Gables

A Plymouth animal sanctuary has rescued 25 puppies and dogs from a "terrible" setting.

The animals were left with no food, water or shelter from freezing conditions.

Gables was called to help remove the poor dogs on a bitterly cold Saturday morning a few months ago. They are now doing well but the shelter that saved them is asking for help to pay for their costly care.

Deputy manager Ruth Rickard and general manager Claire Sparkes said they jumped in their vehicles and made the 90-mile trip as soon as they found out about the dogs.

They were horrified to see the living conditions these vulnerable creatures were having to endure but they started to get them out one by one.

Gables took as many as they could, consisting of nine young puppies that were around 8-12 weeks old, a six-month-old puppy with terribly matted, sore and infected skin and three mothers each with litters of puppies.

When they arrived back at Gables, staff stayed late to help unload all the dogs and get them tucked up for the night with plenty of food, clean warm bedding and heating.

The three mothers and litters of puppies went home with Ruth to her on-site bungalow so she could provide nursing care throughout the night in a warm calm environment.

One tiny puppy appeared to have lost the will to live and was rushed to the vet to have some warm fluids injected under the skin.

It was quickly established the mothers were too stressed to care for their puppies and two small ones kept being trampled, so Ruth had to remove them to start hand-rearing them and give them a fighting chance at survival.

Claire said: “Although the conditions were shocking to see we are grateful that we could help.

"The journey home was very emotional as we processed what we had witnessed but we are determined to change the lives of these poor dogs."

Ruth added: "The hardest part was leaving some behind but we knew other rescue centres were taking in the rest."

One little puppy appeared to have lost the will to live Credit: Gables

After three weeks of round-the-clock care and love these puppies and their mothers are doing really well thanks to the dedication of the Gables team, but now they have issued an appeal for help.

A spokesperson for Gables said: "It is estimated it will cost [us] £6,000 for all the intensive care, neutering, other surgery needed such as hernia repairs, skin infection treatment and basic care such as vaccinations, flea and worm treatments.

"Gables Dogs & Cats Home does not receive any Government funding and has felt the financial strain from the cost of living crisis, but they are determined to help these vulnerable dogs and puppies.

"If you can help to ease Gables financial burden by making a contribution to the ’25 Puppies Rescued Vet Appeal’, please call 01752 331602 or cheques can be posted to Gables Dogs and Cats Home, 204 Merafield Road, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 1UQ."

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