Three lice-ridden puppies that were found huddled together in the cold have been rescued by Nova Scotia RCMP and will spend weeks in care before they're adopted.
The puppies have been named Cuffs, Radar and Siren, in honour of their rescuer.
An RCMP officer was patrolling Lake Eagle Drive in East Preston on Tuesday night when he saw what he thought was a rock on the road. Upon closer inspection, he realized there were three black puppies huddled together in the cold.
The puppies were frightened of the officer at first, but they were eventually coaxed into the officer's car.
"The puppies were shivering and dirty as they appeared to be out in the elements for a while," said RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae.
The officer searched the area and did not find any other puppies.
The puppies' first stop was the RCMP detachment in Cole Harbour, where they were welcomed by other officers and given "some water and some love."
The Litters 'n Critters Rescue Society in Upper Tantallon agreed to take the dogs in the morning, so the three puppies spent the night at the Integrated Emergency Services Centre — a dispatch centre for Halifax Regional Police and Halifax District RCMP.
The dispatchers bought food, treats and toys for the puppies and they were given a warm bath.
Shelley Cunningham, the president of the Litters n' Critters Animal Rescue, said Radar is a male and Cuffs and Siren are females.
"Cuffs has a broken tail. Siren, she has a heart murmur and Radar has frostbite on his back toes and his toes are actually starting to peel from it," she told CBC News.
"All three of them are loaded with canine lice and they have scabs all over their bodies from the lice eating them. They're underweight but they're not emaciated."
Cunningham said the puppies will be quarantined for six weeks to get rid of the lice. That will happen at an organization called Paws By Wallace Bay in Wallace, free of charge.
"Once they're through with their quarantine, we'll put them up for adoption and we already have about 11 applications on them so far. They're in good hands," she said.
Nova Scotia RCMP said the puppies weren't located near a residence and it wasn't clear how they ended up on the road. They didn't have tags or any other identifying markers.
Cunningham said if they were abandoned, there's no reason for it.
"There's no reason whatsoever. There's so many good, reputable rescues, there are so many good shelters around Nova Scotia," she said.
"We will never say no to a dog if somebody wants us to take a dog in."
According to Environment Canada, it was –11 C in the Halifax area at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.