It is a miracle that seven tiny puppies discovered next to their dead mother on a roadside are alive, animal welfare officers revealed today.
ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes said the young pups were recently rescued in the Kildare area after a vigilant member of the public alerted gardai.
Mr Hughes said he suspected their mother had been killed with poison.
"It looks very much like the little guys were dumped with her, probably because they are only a few weeks old and would have been too much trouble for the owner to hand-feed," he said.
"It was lucky that a vigilant member of public had taken the trouble to call, as I don't think the puppies would have lasted much longer.
"The heat of the day had already taken its toll on the pups, and it was a miracle that they hadn't wandered on to the road."
The ISPCA said all of the rescued puppies will be available to adopt in a few weeks.