Four dead newborn puppies were found dumped in a carrier bag in Hertfordshire on Thursday, National Puppy Day, sparking fears their mother could be in the hands of an “unscrupulous breeder”.
A joint investigation has been launched by the RSPCA and Dacorum Borough Council following the grim discovery in Hemel Hempstead.
A woman called the council on Thursday morning after finding the bag in Three Cherry Trees Lane.
The bodies were collected by the dog warden, who alerted the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith said: “A woman called the dog warden as she was concerned there were dead animals in a tied up Marks and Spencer carrier bag which had been dumped on a verge.
“Unfortunately, when the dog warden attended, she made the grisly discovery.
“Inside the bag were four tiny, newborn puppies - possibly Staffordshire bull terriers. There were no obvious signs of injury.
“It’s not clear how or why these puppies have died but I do have concerns that they could come from an unplanned litter and there may be a bitch somewhere out there who is at risk.
“What makes this even more heartbreaking is that the pups were found on National Puppy Day - a day when most people are celebrating puppies and how wonderful it can be to have a dog.
“Sadly, the reality is that unscrupulous breeders and sellers looking to make money out of the puppy trade means awful things are happening to puppies on a regular basis and the RSPCA is having to pick up the pieces.”
A Dacorum Borough Council spokesperson said: “Sadly, today we found a litter of puppies in a carrier bag near the Nickey Line footpath in Hemel Hempstead.
“We are concerned for the welfare of the mother who could be at risk.”
Last year the RSPCA found a graveyard for “dumping dead dogs” in a quiet country lane in Hertfordshire in what inspectors believed was a harrowing insight into the puppy farming trade.
Anyone with information in relation to the Hemel Hempstead investigation is asked to contact Dacorum Borough Council on 01442 228418 or to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.