HUNTINGTON, W.Va.(WSAZ) -- A disturbing case of animal abuse took a turn for the better Saturday.
Eight newborn puppies were found tied in bags and dumped in two storage drains on the 1600 block of 10th Avenue in Huntington.
A mailman heard noises coming from the drains and thought it was kittens. He called the Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter and that's when Robert Beckner, a humane officer at the shelter, went to the rescue.
"We got them out and brought them back to the shelter and put them on a temporary mother that's breastfeeding other puppies and we're just going to try to get them nursed back to health," Beckner said.
Beckner says some time Saturday morning someone dumped the pups and left them to die, nearly suffocating in the bags and sitting in inches of water.
One of the puppies was dead, but Beckner says he was unsure if it was due to the abuse or if it was stillborn.
He says he has never seen anything like this in his four years as a humane officer.
"It tears you up emotionally to think people are out there that would do something that bad to day-old puppies," Beckner said.
Denise Rickman was fighting back tears as she fed the puppies with a bottle. She works at the shelter, and can't even think about why someone would do this.
"I couldn't imagine anybody doing it, not even the worst person in the world," Rickman said. "No heart whatsoever, because they had to literally bag them up, tie them up, and put them in the storm drain, alive"
She says if anything, whoever is responsible should have dropped the puppies off at the shelter instead of leaving them to die.
"We would have taken care of it," Rickman said. "They were saved, and they're going to be taken care of and we'll make sure they get good homes."
The puppies will be up for adoption in six weeks at the Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter.
If you have any information on who is responsible for the abuse, you're asked to call 304-696-5551.