A litter of newborn puppies is safe in foster care after being discovered in a plastic bag in the Mount Pocono Walmart parking lot this weekend.
According to Animal Welfare Society of Monroe's vet tech Wendy Edwards, a volunteer from the Stroudsburg shelter was contacted about the seemingly abandoned puppies found in a bag in a shopping cart on Saturday morning.
"A gentleman found them in a plastic bag in a shopping cart in the Walmart parking lot at like eight o'clock in the morning. They are only a couple of days old— they still have their umbilical cords attached to them," Edwards said.
Being as young as they are— Edwards said that they may have been only a day or two old when they were brought into the shelter, making it impossible to even tell what breed they are— the puppies required immediate assistance in the absence of their mother.
"Our first thing was to make sure that we got them stabilized," Edwards said. "When they're babies like that they can't maintain a body temperature, so we got them on the heating pads. We got to feeding them, it had been a couple hours since they had been without mama at that point. They needed to be stimulated to go to the bathroom."
The puppies have since been taken to a foster home, where they will remain for the next eight weeks or so. Shelter officials have asked the individual who found the puppies to keep an eye out for the mother.
Edwards said that the shelter is "scrambling for much needed supplies" for the little ones, including Purina Pro Plan wet and dry food, PetAg Esbilac Powder Milk Replacer for Puppies, baby wipes, pee pads, and toys.
These supplies can be brought or sent to AWSOM at 3129 Godfrey Ridge Drive, Stroudsburg, PA 18360. Donations can also be made online through the shelter's website.
As of Tuesday, Edwards said that there are no leads on who left the puppies in the lot or why they did so.
Edwards noted that the shelter commonly sees abandoned litters of kittens—she estimates that there are about 30 mother cats with an average of four kittens each which AWSOM volunteers are fostering at the moment—finding puppies in this situation is far more rare.
"As far as puppies being abandoned, we've had it happen a couple of times, but not as frequent as kittens, which are dumped all the time," Edwards said.
The ASPCA states that around 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, including 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. About 2 million dogs and 2.1 million cats are adopted from shelters each year.
While the Mount Pocono puppies will need some time before they can be adopted out, AWSOM has plenty of dogs and cats available for prospective pet parents who are interested in providing fur-ever homes for some new friends.