Pictured: Adorable puppies that were abandoned by Northern Ireland river
These eight adorable puppies have been rescued by Assisi Animal Sanctuary after they were abandoned by a river near Omagh.
A farmer who was out feeding his sheep came across the dogs in a cardboard box and contacted Assisi volunteers, who then transported them to the shelter in Newtownards.
Sanctuary manager Heather Weatherup said: "We know from the smell that they were in a home and were well cared-for by somebody.
"But they were abandoned beside a river and we think somebody has gone there to drown them, then when they got there they couldn't do it."
The charity's volunteer drivers, who are based all over Northern Ireland, pulled together to transport the pups to Newtownards in three stages.
"We were on standby in case they were in poor condition but we could tell they had been fed well before," said Heather.
"All the pups appear to be healthy and previously well cared for."
She thinks the dogs are about six weeks old and are a mixture of breeds, possibly collie or terrier cross. They will need to be wormed before they can be rehomed in a few weeks.
Assisi currently has 12 puppies in foster homes, including collie pups: "We also got four spaniels in last week; they had unfortunately not been so well looked-after.
"They came in seriously underweight, dehydrated and with fur loss from flea and lice infestation.
"They are currently at the vets undergoing intensive treatment. Hopefully they'll be OK but it's still touch and go."
"These are litters that should not have happened and the result is that any of them could have died."
Heather added: "The message is please neuter and if you are struggling financially then contact your local rescue centre because we might be able to help."
Assisi can be found at Assisi-ni.org.
Belfast Telegraph Digital