Five-week-old mixed-breed puppies were found abandoned in a box at Mangahao Reserve, Shannon, on Monday by a family out for a walk.
The puppies - five female and four male - had no food, water or shelter; the box they were in was drenched and falling apart, and the puppies were incredibly hungry and thirsty.
The litter were immediately taken to the SPCA to be checked over and, despite being skinny, the puppies all appeared to be in fairly good health.
SPCA Palmerston North centre manager Katie Pedersen said all the puppies were picked up by foster carers today to continue their recovery in a home environment.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"They'll come in for weekly health checks for the next four to five weeks, then will be back at the centre mid-November, ready for adoption," Pedersen said.
According to Pedersen, dumping of large litters in remote locations happens quite regularly, despite the fact the SPCA does not charge for animals to be surrendered.
"We would much rather these unwanted animals were left on the doorstep [of our centres] than being dumped somewhere they may not be found until too late," she said.
The SPCA has been appealing to the public for help to identify where this litter may have come from, as abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
It's believed the puppies were probably dumped at the reserve during last weekend.
• If you have any information about this, please call SPCA Palmerston North on 06 357 2516. All information will be treated with absolute confidence.