What started as a horrible wintry day for a litter of puppies is turning into a heartwarming Christmas story.
Ciara Donovan, veterinary technician at Eastside Animal Hospital of Havre, said a garbage man Wednesday brought a litter of eight puppies he had found under a mattress in a dumpster on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation to the hospital.
By early Thursday morning, homes apparently already had been found for six of the puppies.
Donovan said the puppies were very much a batch of mixed-breed dogs, adding that Dr. Tari Mord of Eastside hospital said the mother apparently had “no morals or standards. ”
Mord said the story is all too common. People often find abandoned litters of puppies or kittens throughout the year. She said the puppies’ story is probably the common one — the mother dog’s owner enjoyed watching and playing with the animals until the mother weaned them and the owner had to start feeding them.
People regularly abandon litters, leaving the animals to starve or freeze.
“It’s a question of responsible pet ownership, ” Mord said, adding that the story is even worse because many programs are available to help pet owners spay or neuter their animals and not have to worry about unwanted litters.
She said Donovan and the hospital’s receptionist, Sara Schubert, took the lead in finding homes for the puppies. Havre Animal Control Officer Gordon Inabnit also has been helping find good homes, she added.
Mord said the puppies probably are five to six weeks old.
Donovan said the puppies were very much mixed-breed animals — some resembled German shepherds, some looked like border collie-pit bull mixes, another had characteristics of a St. Bernard.
For more information or to find out if the last puppies have found homes, people can call the animal hospital at 265-1558.