Puppies left inside backpack in bitter cold in Lancaster

A good Samaritan is being credited with saving the lives of two puppies in Lancaster city. He found them inside a backpack in the single digit temperatures Wednesday morning.

Puppy siblings Breeze and Lucky are now safe and snuggled up together at the Lancaster County SPCA shelter. The chihuahua mixes were in a far different situation hours earlier.

Around 10 a.m., a man found the months-old pups freezing in the cold inside a thin backpack along South Duke Street. He brought them to the shelter nearby.

“Today they were closed and he knocked on the windows and someone let him in right away and helped him with them,” said Ofc. Karen Dinkel, Lancaster Police Department’s animal enforcement officer. “Had they not done that, these guys wouldn’t have made it.”

Breeze, the female puppy, was at the bottom of the backpack and had ice on her. Shelter staff estimate the dogs had been outside for at least several hours.

“They came in very lethargic, very shivering, extremely cold,” said Jennifer Nields, Lancaster County SPCA operations manager. “So our staff did everything to warm them up. Gave them some food, got them comfortable, and then we transported them over to the vet hospital to check them out.”

Veterinarians at the VCA Bridgeport Animal Hospital determined the dogs have recovered just fine, but will not be adopted out right away pending the investigation into who abandoned them.

Officer Dinkel said she found something inside the colorful backpack that held the pups that could be a promising lead.

“It’s always depressing and you get angry and I just get determined to find out who did this,” she said.

Shelter employees have named the male dog, Lucky. It’s a fitting name for one-half of a duo rescued just in time.

“It’s lucky that they made it,” Nields said. “It’s very lucky that they actually made it through and actually be able to get into our building and be able to saved they way they were.”

The person responsible for abandoning these puppies could face animal cruelty and abandonment charges. The punishments on those charges include fines and even jail time.