Dead puppies found in garbage bag

Whoever left three newborn puppies to die in a garbage bag on Maple Mountain had plenty of other options for dealing with the unwanted dogs, according to BC SPCA Cowichan branch manager Sandi Trent.

The puppies were brought to the SPCA on Wednesday morning after a man out for a walk spotted the bag on Tuesday afternoon. They had been wrapped in a T-shirt and stuffed in the bag, then abandoned near the popular hiking trail.

"They were newborns," Trent said. "Their umbilical cords were still attached."

It’s hard to tell, she added, but it appeared that the puppies were still alive when they were put in the bag.

"It’s reprehensible that someone would leave something to freeze or suffocate to death," Trent said. "It’s so unnecessary and such a waste."

If puppies were going to be a nuisance, their mother should have been spayed, or could have been given a mismating shot. After birth, the puppies could have been taken to the SPCA.

"It could have been so different, and should have been so different," Trent said. "It boggles the mind."

Unfortunately, finding whoever is responsible will be like looking for "a needle in a haystack," Trent pointed out.

"If anybody happens to know of a dog that was pregnant and isn’t anymore, they should contact us," she said. "It would still be difficult to prove, if not impossible."

The puppies were gold in colour, with some white on their feet, and looked like Labs.

If there is a bright side to the situation, it’s that it happens very rarely.

"We haven’t seen this in many years," said Trent, who has spent 15 years with the SPCA. "We used to hear about it occasionally, but it hasn’t happened in a long time. We still get boxes of kittens left here, but they’re alive."

The dead puppies will be buried in the Cowichan SPCA’s memorial garden as staff try to wrap their heads around the incident.

"I’m horrified that in this day and age people don’t know any better," Trent said. "It’s such a gutless thing to do, to let something die a slow death. I don’t understand that thought process."