A DOG that was found chained to a gate while attempting to nurse her six puppies has been rescued by the ISPCA.
The poor animal and her babies were discovered by a passerby near Elphin in Co. Roscommon and was taken to the National Animal Centre in Longford.
Apart from being cold and hungry, the mother and her pups appear to be OK, although it isn't clear how long they were tied to the gate for.
The ISPCA took to Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, announcing the find.
"A lurcher dog was found nursing her six new born puppies yesterday while chained to a gate in a field near Elphin, Co. Roscommon. A kind-hearted member of the public discovered them and alerted the Gardaí and the ISPCA," they wrote.
"The dog and her puppies were transported to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford for urgent veterinary assessment and apart from being cold and hungry, they do not appear to have any health issues. It is unclear how long they had been left alone in the field and they are being closely monitored in ISPCA care.'
ISPCA Centre Manager Hugh O'Toole said: "Leaving a young dog only two years old tied up without water, food or shelter most definitely put her along with her young puppies' lives at risk.
"We are urging pet owners to spay or neuter their pets as early as possible to reduce the high number of unwanted animals.
"I don’t understand how anyone can think it is okay to leave a dog tied to a gate to nurse her puppies. With the recent level of rainfall and cold weather this week, the outcome could have been very different and I’m happy we were alerted so we could help them".
The dog has been named Emmy Lou and her little puppies are Billy Ray, Dixie, Dolly, Dotty, June and Patsy. They will remain in ISPCA care until the New Year when they will be old enough to be responsibly re-homed.
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