The puppy was chucked into the snow like a baseball.
It was Saturday, and the temperature was hovering around minus 35 Celsius.
“It was obviously thrown there,” said Mae Bachur Animal Shelter administrator Steve Parker.
“Because there were no marks or tracks in the snow.
“Just a small depression in the snowbank and a tiny patch of black.”
If it wasn’t for a man walking his dogs, the puppy would have died in its tiny snow cave about a quarter mile past the horse show grounds in Porter Creek.
“The dogs spotted something in the snowbank,” said Parker.
At first, the man thought it was a raven.
But when he got closer, he realized it was a tiny puppy.
He brought it to the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter then went back to see if there were more puppies in the same area.
That’s when he discovered another one chucked under a nearby tree.
“When you dump puppies at minus 35 in an out-of-the-way spot, you’re not expecting someone to walk by and find them,” said Parker.
“This is definitely animal cruelty.”
When the puppies arrived at the shelter, staffed wrapped them in towels and tried to warm them up slowly.
“And we are still watching for frostbite,” he said.
“Because that can take a few days to show up.”
The puppies haven’t seen the vet yet, but seem to be about six or seven weeks old, said Parker.
They were immediately placed in a foster home because the shelter is full.
On Tuesday, there were 32 dogs sharing 18 kennels.
It’s the worst Parker has ever seen it.
“I’m getting grey hairs working here,” he said.
Behind a glass window in the reception area, four tiny brown puppies lay snoozing in a heap.
Their mom Mya was wandering around, looking for a head scratch.
In the next room three more fat puppies dozed.
And the shelter just sent three more puppies to a shelter in Victoria and five to a shelter in Skagway.
“And we’re still getting more phone calls about people needing to surrender puppies,” he said.
People need to spay and neuter their dogs, said Parker.
And if they don’t have enough money, they can contact Mae Bachur.
“We have a fund if you’re on low-income,” he said.
Parker has seen animals deserted outside the shelter before.
“But at least, then we see them,” he said.
“And it’s usually a lot warmer.”
The chucked puppies have shaken up shelter staff, he said.
“Everyone here is incredibly upset.”
Swamped with dogs and puppies, the shelter continues to struggle to make ends meet.
It’s in dire need of cash.
“We always are,” said Parker.
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