UPDATE | Mother of puppies from river in Milton rescued

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MILTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 7/13/19 @ 6:33 p.m.

Humane officers with Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Control and rescuers with the Milton Volunteer Fire Department saved two puppies from Mud River in Milton.

The mother of the rescued puppies is now also getting medical treatment after being rescued by the Huntington Cabell-Wayne Rescue Unit Saturday.

Jon Rutherford, one of two humane officers for animal control, helped in rescuing the puppies on Thursday. Now he has played a hand in helping save their mother in a whole other predicament.

"We went out and took this dog due to the health concerns she's in right now," said Rutherford.

Rutherford, along with his partner and assistance from the Cabell County Sheriff's department, went to rescue the mother, Red, on Saturday morning.

There were other dogs at the home but since there was some food and water, they only needed to take Red.

"The other animals, they had food and water present," said Rutherford.
"This one was the only one of medical concern and the owners signed her over to us so we can get her the medical care."

Rutherford says Red has severe mange and her puppies did too when they were rescued.

"For a while when we first moved in, our trash kept getting in to and we didn't know what it was and then I figured out it was the dogs," said one nearby neighbor who asked to stay anonymous. "Apparently, the dogs just go from neighbor to neighbor into the trash cans trying to find food."

Rutherford says Red will be up for adoption after she is treated and that's the same goal for the two puppies.

ORIGINAL STORY 7/13/19

Puppies are getting medical treatment at the Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter after a rescue Thursday.

Rescue crews saved two puppies from Mud River in Milton, West Virginia.

Humane officers with Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Control responded to the 1200 block of West Mud River Road just before noon.

Jon Rutherford is one of two humane officers for animal control. He tells WSAZ a neighbor heard the puppies crying and called for help.

The two officers, who handle cases in all of Cabell and Wayne counties, rushed to the riverbank as soon as they got the call.

One by one, the humane officers pulled the puppies from the water with assistance from the Milton Volunteer Fire Department.

Rutherford wore glasses that captured the entire rescue on camera. He shared that video exclusively with WSAZ.

The puppies had hypothermia and mange, according to Rutherford. He and fellow Humane Officer Robert Beckner took the dogs to the animal shelter's medical unit for treatment.

They believe the dogs are strays. Rutherford says they think the mother dog was walking with the puppies when the young dogs fell over the steep embankment. While they have not found the mom yet, Rutherford says they believe she and other puppies could still be in the area.

As for the two puppies they saved, the goal is to get them healthy and adopted.