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19 'joyful little pups' left at park now in foster care

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

A bundle of 19 puppies found Wednesday in a urine-soaked box have been taken in by local foster homes and will need weeks of medical care after they were rescued from Plymouth's Hines Park, according to the Humane Society of Huron Valley.

"They're all about several weeks if not a month away from being adopted because they're too little," communications director Wendy Welch said of the puppies, born in mid- to late November. "All of them had worms and they've been treated for that; some of them were dehydrated and they've been treated for that as well."

Inside the urine-soaked cardboard were 19 puppies — nine male and 10 female pups — “climbing over each other trying to get out,” the humane society reported.

They appear to be out of the woods at this point, Welch said.

"We hope so," she said. "We're crossing our fingers."

Six of the youngest, weakest puppies are in the temporary care of an employee, Welch said. The others are mostly divided into pairs, spread among the shelter's network of volunteer foster parents.

"They're all eating well, which is a really good sign, so we're pleased," Welch said. "They all seem to be sociable with one another and they're joyful little pups."

All 19 are scheduled for spay and neuter surgeries shortly after their mid-January round of vaccinations. 

The shelter is asking for donations to go toward the puppies' care, including surgery, food and supplies.

"Every bit helps," officials said in a statement. "Thank you."

Donations made by Saturday will be matched up to $5,000, thanks to an anonymous donor, officials said.

The humane society also is seeking tips to learn more about the puppies, discovered around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Hines Park near Wilcox Lake.

Resident Julie Newman was jogging along Northville Road near Wilcox Lake at about 9:30 a.m. when she heard “little yelps” and spotted a box trembling with movement under a tree about three feet from the path, society officials said in a statement.

Inside the urine-soaked cardboard were 4-week old puppies — nine male and 10 female pups — “climbing over each other trying to get out,” the humane society reported.

"I’m just heartbroken,” Newman said in the humane society statement. “I just don’t understand how anyone could do this.”

Newman and her sister rushed the tiny dogs to the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor, where they received medical treatment before being placed into foster homes, the nonprofit said.

Based on the number and appearance, group officials believe the puppies represent three litters of pit bull terrier mixed breeds.

"These poor little guys; it’s worrisome that so many of them would be dropped off," Welch said. "We don’t know what happened, but it can’t be anything good."

The pups haven't officially been named yet, but the honor likely will go to their rescuer, Newman, Welch said.

"We’re thinking that she might get a chance to name them, and often the foster parents get a bit attached and they sometimes name them as well."

Whatever their names, the puppies have made an impression on the humane society staff, Welch said.

"They’re very sweet and they are incredibly innocent," Welch said. "When they’re by themselves, they’ll huddle together and they tend to cry. But immediately when you pick one up, they just quiet down.

"They really were looking for attention and love."

Anyone who has information about the puppies or the person who had them is asked to call HSHV’s Cruelty & Rescue line at (734) 661-3512 or to submit a report online.

hfournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier

Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.