BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- Early Monday morning (Jan. 9) Bella Vista Animal Shelter Manager Laurie May arrived at work to find nine puppies had been left in a box right outside their door.
The shelter is taking care of the pit-mix puppies until they can find them a good home. May said they all have medical issues, some probably caused by being left in the 20 degree weather.
"The one that's aspirating and keeps having the milk come back up through it's nose," May said. "Three of them are very underweight, they all came in covered in fleas."
Shelter staff are fostering the puppies until they feel confident that they are healthy to adopt.
"It takes a lot of time and dedication," Tammie Cavness said. "Some of the ones like the puppies, there's the bottle feeding aspect where they do have to be fed sometimes it's every hour depending upon how little they are to every three or four hours."
May said the shelter was caught off guard by their new arrivals.
"It also is a financial burden," she said. "They all are on formula, which is not one of our regular things we have to purchase."
Seeing a litter of puppies or kittens is not entirely unusual for the shelter. May said they see more young animals come in during the winter season. She said she believes the owners of the puppies were trying to do what was best for them, but leaving them in the cold was not the best way to go about it.
The shelter advocates spay and neutering, so pet owners do not get into a situation where they are unable to take care a littler of puppies or kittens. If it is too late, May advised finding people who can take the animals.
In three weeks, the shelter hopes to put all of the puppies up for adoption. For more information about the shelter and how to become a foster home, click here.