BADDECK — Discovered only five days ago, they’ve already been given a nickname: the Beverly’s Hill Seven.
A mother dog abandoned alongside her seven puppies were found Saturday on Beverly’s Hill Road in Baddeck Inlet.
They were first noticed by Baddeck area Coun. Athol Grant, and are now in the care of kennel owner Kim MacDonald.
MacDonald said the puppies looked to be in good shape, and the mother — a Labrador retriever and pit bull mix — was slightly undernourished.
It’s not unusual to hear of domestic animals, both cats and dogs, being left to fend for themselves by their former owner.
MacDonald said it’s a big task in terms of time and money for a person to take on once the mother has done her job of nursing the infant pups over the first four weeks of life.
“To me, dropping them off on the side of the road is never the answer,” said MacDonald, who operates Foggy Lake Labradors, a small kennel that breeds Labrador retrievers.
“I think it’s a huge problem around here because so many people have to leave here in order to find work, and they abandon their pets as a result.”
She rescued a litter of cats last spring, and a friend on the same road did the same not too long ago.
There’s the notion that abandoning an animal or litter in a rural area will somehow see the dogs or cats adopted naturally by kind and caring people, but that’s not the case in most instances, MacDonald said.
“People think if they drop them off in a rural setting like this, very often people will take them in or they can go live on a farm.
“But that’s not really what happens when you drop them off on the side of a highway. Generally what happens is a few of them get hit by cars or cause accidents.”
The Beverly’s Hill Seven are believed to be about five weeks old.
Four of the pups are mainly black with traits of a Labrador retriever and Siberian husky.
The other three have German shepherd traits, which led MacDonald to suspect the litter was sired by two male dogs of different breeds.
“The female ovulates over a period of a couple of days, and they ovulate multiple eggs. At any time during those couple of days, any male can mate with them.”
MacDonald has already had a few inquiries from people looking to adopt one of the puppies.
Her worry is about being able to find a suitable home for the mother, Faith, since she’ll have to be spayed at a cost of $300-$400.
“As soon as I met her she was allowing me to lean over her and handle the puppies," she said.
"She follows me around off-leash and comes when she’s called. She’s a wonderful mother.”
Anyone interested in adopting Faith or one of her pups can contact MacDonald at email@example.com.
Any animals not adopted in the next few weeks will be handed over to the Cape Breton SPCA shelter in Sydney.