Police would like to know who left a pit bull and her 11 newborn puppies tied in trash bags in a Tacoma alley.
An animal control officer found the mother and nine of the babies dead Thursday after someone saw the animals about 1 p.m. in an alley at Pacific Avenue and South 40th Street and called 911.
The puppies were double-bagged in one bunch, in clear plastic trash bags, next to the mother tied up the same way, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
The two puppies who survived are being cared for by the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County.
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Cool said the next 24 hours are critical for the pair.
“The Humane Society believes that if the puppies can maintain their normal body temperature in the next 24 hours, then they’ll survive,” she said.
Temperatures usually should be 100 degrees, but initially they were 90, Cool said. Caretakers got the puppies’ temperatures normalized and said they were eating by the evening.
The mother was a tan pit bull, about 1 year old and between 35 and 40 pounds. She had a white stripe down her chest and a white patch by her shoulder, Cool said.
The litter likely was her first.
The mother had no obvious signs of trauma, Cool said. Police think she died within a day of having the litter, and that someone threw out the puppies with her. They were 2 or 3 days old.
It’s not clear when the animals were dumped.
“All the puppies were alive at one point,” Cool said. “All they had to do was take them to the Humane Society.”
Anyone with information about the dogs is asked to call 253-591-5968.