Sick puppies abandoned in Rochford layby

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Two surviving puppiesImage source, RSPCA
Image caption,
The two surviving spaniel puppies are being treated with fluids and medication

Three puppies were found abandoned in a cardboard box in a layby by a cyclist on one of the hottest days of the year.

One of the puppies had already died when they were discovered in Shopland Road in Rochford, Essex, on Saturday.

The RSPCA said the spaniels could have been imported from abroad to sell and abandoned when they became unwell.

Adam Jones, an inspector for the animal charity, said it appeared the puppies were "victims of the cruel puppy trade".

"They are microchipped with a Hungarian chip which isn't registered in this country so it could be that they have been imported from abroad to sell on but have been abandoned when they became poorly," Mr Jones said.

The cyclist who found the dogs said he spotted them when one "peeked" out of the box.

Image source, RSPCA
Image caption,
The puppies, which are about eight weeks old, were found after one peeked out from the box

The two surviving puppies were "very skinny" and tested positive for parvovirus after being taken to a vets near Southend Airport.

The canine virus is highly contagious and causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.

Mr Jones said it was still "very touch and go" for the two surviving puppies.

The pair - a male and a female - are about eight weeks old and are being treated with fluids and medication.

The RSPCA said it was keen to find out what happened to them and urged anyone with information to contact the charity.

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