Rural Manitoba police dig up treasure trove of puppies hidden away by mom

A litter of puppies whose mother tucked them into a deep underground hideaway were recovered Monday after a two-hour dig by a team of police officers in rural Manitoba.

Mother dog dug tunnels deep underground for protection, police chief says

The five puppies snuggle into a warm bed after the rescue. (Rivers Police Service/Facebook)

A litter of puppies whose mother tucked them into a deep underground hideaway were recovered Monday after a two-hour dig by a team of police officers in rural Manitoba.

Members of the Rivers Police Service were at a rural property for an unrelated call late Monday afternoon when the property owner approached them about four puppies buried deep in a series of underground tunnels, Rivers police Chief Bob Futrell said Tuesday, reached by phone in the community of roughly 1,250 people about 225 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

The dog, which belonged to the property owner, had given birth to the litter about a month earlier and dug the hole for them herself, "kind of like a fox would," Futrell said.

Police officers in Rivers, Man., are happy they got a chance to help the five puppies. (Rivers Police Service/Facebook)

But the owner got worried when one of the puppies, a female the officers later nicknamed Pickles, emerged from the tunnels on her own and seemed dehydrated.

"[The owner] asked our department for some help retrieving the puppies because it was so deep down, so our members got digging," Futrell said.

Futrell said it took three police members at least two hours to dig the puppies out of their den. The tunnels covered about three metres combined, he said, and were more than a metre below ground.

Once they were freed, all five puppies were taken to the vet before being taken to foster homes — including one who is staying with an auxiliary cadet, Futrell said.

A Rivers police officer cuddles one of the puppies found underground. (Rivers Police Service/Facebook)

"They are very nice and cute-looking puppies," said Futrell.

The puppies will be up for adoption shortly, he said, and their mother is also doing well.

It took police at least two hours to dig the puppies out, said Chief Bob Futrell. (Rivers Police Service/Facebook)

He said officers are just happy to have helped.

"Well, you know, it's just one of those scenarios where police officers get to do something out of the ordinary and something very positive, and make a difference in the life of a family and animals."

The puppies are now being fostered, including one puppy that's staying with an auxiliary cadet from the Rivers Police Service, Futrell said. (Rivers Police Service/Facebook)