A hero dog had a “Lassie-style moment” when it discovered a litter of abandoned puppies during a walk.
The pooch was with its unidentified owner in woodland near Bristol in southwest England on Sunday when it sniffed out the trio of shivering 8-week-old border collies. Someone had dumped them inside a recycle bin in an isolated area:
The faithful older dog remained with the puppies and barked to raise the alarm. Its owner located the pups and took them to the nearby Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, where they are now being cared for.
“Thank goodness as we truly feel they wouldn’t have survived a cold winter’s night,” the sanctuary wrote on Facebook, describing the moment as “Lassie-style” in reference to the heroic fictional TV pooch that’s a similar breed.
The two male and one female puppies have since been named Carlos, Tosca and Mabel. Staff believe two of the dogs are pure Border Collies, and the other is a Border Collie cross, although they say it’s too early to tell for certain.
They were likely “unwanted Christmas puppies,” the sanctuary’s kennels and cattery manager Sarah Schranz told HuffPost.
“There’s a certain stigma about taking them to a shelter, especially after Christmas, but they’re just at the age where they could be getting too much for some people,” she said. “They can panic and not be able to handle them.”
Schranz said the center was inundated with offers to re-home the puppies after local news reports on the heartbreaking discovery.
“It’s been fantastic,” she said. “We’ve had loads of applications.”
Sanctuary staff plan to vet the dogs’ potential forever homes Monday and aim to place them with their new families by the end of next week, she added.