Nine puppies found abandoned near Rifle; only two survive |

Nine puppies found abandoned near Rifle; only two survive

Ni, one of the puppies found abandoned in Rifle on Friday, sleeps at the Divide Creek Animal Shelter.

Law enforcement officials report that a couple was camping off County Road 244 near Rifle last Friday when they found a bag on the ground and made a frightening discovery. In an open plastic bag, nine puppies had been abandoned in a wooded area near the road.

When they were discovered, two of the puppies had already died from exposure, according to a Garfield County Sheriff’s Department press release issued Wednesday.

The couple found the puppies at 3 p.m. Oct. 26 when it was 61 degrees out, according to the release

Sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said that, according to an area veterinarian, the puppies had been at the vet clinic after the discovery for several hours, and their body temperature was so low it did not initially register on the thermometers.

Stowe said on Wednesday that only two puppies, which had been named San and Ni, survived. The vets believe the puppies were only about 24 hours old when they were abandoned.

The puppies were taken to the Divide Creek Animal Shelter for immediate care by one of the Sheriff’s Animal Control Deputies who was on scene. Once at the clinic, the puppies were placed in warm towels and under a surgical lamp to bring their body temperatures to a normal range, Stowe added.

Stowe said the investigation into the crime remains active and he asks that anybody with knowledge of recently born litters in the area to call Garfield County Dispatch at 970-625-8095.

The abandonment of any animal, whether it lives or dies, is a class I misdemeanor and carries a minimum fine of $500, according to the Sheriff’s Office. There is also a possibility of up to six months in jail. Additional charges including cruelty to animals and violations of county ordinances and regulations can also be cited and imposed.

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