Three husky puppies and their mother left huddled in tiny cage for 23 hours a day by cruel owners
15:17 GMT, 6 February 2013
16:00 GMT, 6 February 2013
Three husky puppies and their mother were left to fester in their own urine in a locked crate before being dumped by their owners.
The female Alaskan Malamutes were severely malnourished, had ammonia burns on their paws from being left in their own mess and their coats were stained yellow.
The 16-week-old puppies and their three-year-old mother, called Megan, are believed to have been kept in a tiny cage for 23 hours a day before being taken to a pet rescue centre in Liverpool.
One of the severely neglected Alaskan Malamute puppies who have been rescued by a Lancashire couple after being kept in a locked cage for 23 hours a day
The four puppies and their mother Megan are now being nursed back to health after suffering malnutrition and ammonia burns on their paws from being kept in their own faeces and urine
The underweight dogs are now being nursed back to health by John Duxbury and his partner Christine at their husky rescue centre in Nelson, Lancashire.
Mr Duxbury, 52, said the dogs were so scared that they walked hunch-backed while shaking their heads.
He said: 'They were not behaving like puppies when we brought them to the centre because all their mineral and vitamin levels are so low.
'Megan, the mum, has suffered a great deal from being locked in a crate for 23 hours a day and I don't think her pups saw the light of day at all since they were born.
'Their immune system is very weak and Megan weighs just 19kg when she should be between 35-40kg.
'The puppies should weigh between 15kg and 17kg but instead they weigh just nine kilograms.
The four puppies are now in the care of John Duxbury and his partner Christine, where they and their mother will be nursed back to a healthy weight
The dogs' coats are returning to a healthy state after being stained by urine and left matted through neglect
'They were the most well-behaved dogs I have ever transported in a crate because that was their life and all they were used to.
'We are expecting to have them in our care for a good couple of months.'
Mr Duxbury's centre, Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Welfare, is caring for 45 neglected huskies and have found homes for 24 of these.
He said: 'There is a huge problem in this country with “fashion dogs” which are bought because they are cute as pups but grow into big dogs.
The pups were so used to their crate that they were 'the most well-behaved dogs' rescuer John Duxbury had dealt with during their car journey
The canine family are now recovering with the freedom to run around at the Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Welfare centre in Nelson, Lancashire
'Animal rescue centres have had a surge in numbers of Staffordshire Bull Terriers in recent years and now it is happening with Huskies.'
An RSPCA spokesperson said: 'Taking on any animal is a huge responsibility and the decision to become a pet owner needs to be thought through very carefully.
'People should never choosie a pet because they look cute or because they are fashionable.
'It's incredibly frustrating and soul-destroying for the RSPCA to know we – and other animal charities – end up having to pick up the pieces when animals bought as accessories are put up for rehoming, neglected or simply abandoned.
'The suffering it causes is all so pointless and avoidable.'