The 2-year-old lurcher was tightly chained to a metal fence post by her collar in a remote field. The dog had been abandoned with six of her puppies, which were still too small to open their eyes. They were left without food and drink, and the mother was attempting to milk her baby while being bound by the chain straining at her collar.
According to the Irish Times, on November 6, a passerby spotted the defenseless, nursing mother and her puppies in a field near the little town of Elphin. The individual quickly requested assistance. The mother and her puppies were transferred to a nearby vet facility run by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).
Nobody knew how long the seven-member family had been stuck there. Rescuers believe the mother and her pups were abandoned soon after the mother gave birth, according to the Daily Mail.
“[L]eaving a young dog barely two years old tied up without water, food, or shelter most likely placed her [life] at jeopardy, along with her young pups,” said Hugh O’Toole, manager of the ISPCA center.
“With the recent amount of rains and cold temperatures this week,” he said, “the outcome might have been quite different, and I’m grateful we were notified so we could rescue them.”
The seven canines were sent to the ISPCA’s national animal facility in County Longford for immediate medical care. Fortunately, neither mom nor her infants were really harmed, other from having to endure their period of hunger and the freezing cold.
It was no easy task for the ISPCA to take on a family of seven.
“Our centers are always at capacity, and we have extremely limited resources,” O’Toole noted. “We’ve had to employ private boarding kennels on occasion to cope with the quantity of animals waiting to come in […] Finding suitable, responsible homes for the numerous animals in our care can sometimes take time.
“I don’t see how someone can believe it’s OK to leave a dog tied to a fence to milk her pups,” he went on, echoing the fury of animal lovers everywhere.
Comments poured in when the ISPCA shared photos of the adorable, stoic lurcher and her babies on Facebook. “This has to be the saddest photo I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot with so much cruelty around us,” one commenter said, “this is awful, poor mom dog trying to protect her pups, it’s simply shocking.”
“This sort of awful treatment will continue until we have stronger laws and harsher consequences for animal abuse,” another Facebook user said, adding, “enough is enough.” Politicians must move up and rewrite animal welfare regulations, as other counties have done.”
Despite the fact that microchipping is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom, the mother dog, dubbed Emmy Lou by her rescuers, was not microchipped and could not be tracked back to an owner.
The puppies’ names are Billy Ray, Dixie, Dolly, Dotty, June, and Patsy, and they will all stay with the ISPCA until they are old enough to be adopted.
The ISPCA, like other animal welfare organizations throughout the world, continues to encourage pet owners to spay and neuter their pets in order to help reduce the population of unwanted animals.
A kind Samaritan out strolling on a cold November day in the Irish countryside, on the other hand, was Emmy Lou and her babies’ good fortune, and it may continue to be so for years to come.