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Five emaciated and lethargic hound puppies are being nursed back to health after they were found huddling in a ditch last week in Dundee Township, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and animal shelter officials.

The male puppies were discovered Friday morning by a good Samaritan along Kent and Wilcox roads in rural Dundee Township, Monroe County Animal Shelter officials said in a Facebook post that had more than 1,000 shares Wednesday afternoon.

They were turned over to the shelter where veterinarians determined they were between 2-4 months old and suffering from a variety of illnesses, including some that could be spread to humans, according to the sheriff’s office.

The animals were described as “hound mix” puppies by shelter officials Friday. In a release Wednesday, the sheriff’s office specified that they appear to be redtick coonhounds.

“These babies unfortunately have not had a very good start in life,” shelter officials said of the puppies, named Joey, Justin, Prince, Sam and Bruce “The Boss.”

“(They were) dumped on the side of the road, emaciated, full of worms and various intestinal infections,” shelter officials said. “They appear to have not had much human contact.”

The litter was isolated and started on a series of medications and topical baths, according to the sheriff’s office. After “remarkable improvement,” they were gradually introduced to human contact and transferred to a rescue in Grand Rapids, where they will undergo further treatment before being put up for adoption.

“They are being treated and are warming up a little bit at a time,” shelter officials said Friday, before the dogs were transferred. “Some will eat from our hands, others are curious but not there yet. Others just kind of hang back and observe.”

The abandonment is under investigation by animal control, according to the sheriff’s office. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Monroe County Animal Shelter during business hours at (734) 240-3125, or email animalcontrol@monroemi.org.

Shelter officials on Facebook reminded the public that roadside abandonment should never be an option.

“Please look into alternatives,” officials said. “Whoever let these babies go could have simply brought them to the shelter.”

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier

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