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Hiker discovers puppies left for dead on Maple Mountain trail

Cowichan SPCA branch manager Sandi Trent can’t wrap her head around why someone would leave puppies for dead in a garbage bag on a popular hiking trail.

The discovery was made Tuesday at 4 p.m. about 20 yards from the gate at the Maple Mountain trailhead located off Osborne Bay Road.

“This gentleman came across a garbage bag and thought it might be empties but discovered three puppies wrapped up in a T-shirt,” Trent said Wednesday.

The three puppies, that looked like yellow labs, were newborns with their umbilical cords still attached.

Trent said it’s been years since anyone’s discovered anything like it.

“I guess what’s so surprising, is in this day and age there are so many alternatives,” she said. “At the very worst, really at the very best, they could have called the shelter.”

Whoever’s responsible could have also first looked into reduced spaying rates.

They could have brought their dog into the vet for a pregnancy termination shot when they realized they had bred.

Or they could have brought the puppies to the SPCA where volunteers would have bottle-fed them until they were ready for adoption.

A final option could have been bringing the pups in to be euthanized instead of leaving them to suffocate or freeze to death.

“It’s just completely unnecessary,” Trent said, finding it hard to put into words her reaction to the disturbing finding.

She said it will be tough finding whoever is responsible.

If the SPCA receives information about the culprits and the dumping, specifically indicating the puppies were left at the trail alive and left to die, it is a crime and Trent confirmed charges could be laid under either the Provincial Animal Cruelty Act or Criminal Code.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Cowichan SPCA at 250-746-4646.

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