Police Officers Save 6 Cocker Spaniel Puppies Moments from Death: 'Right Place, Right Time'

6 newborn puppies that were saved
6 newborn puppies that were saved

Durham Constabulary/Facebook

Six lucky puppies have a new lease on life after officers in Durham, England, rescued the baby animals from a potentially deadly situation.

The Durham Constabulary shared on Facebook that police officers traveling along a highway on March 18 noticed a car parked on the side of the road and a man standing beside it, who was "swinging a sealed carrier bag" at the edge of a bank.

When officers flashed their lights and pulled up to get a better look, they said they noticed the man throw the carrier back into his car in the front passenger seat before pretending to "inspect" one of his tires.

As the officers approached his car, they heard "squealing noises" and realized it was coming from the bag the man had attempted to throw off the bank earlier, according to the agency's post. When officers unzipped the bag, they surprisingly found half a dozen five-day-old Cocker Spaniel puppies, so small their eyes had not even opened yet.

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6 newborn puppies that were saved
6 newborn puppies that were saved

Durham Constabulary/Facebook

"The puppies were riddled with fleas, and if we'd have passed just seconds before, we would have been none the wiser," Police Constable Liam Vernon said in a statement on social media.

"Both myself and [my partner] Luke are huge dog lovers, so it has been one of those jobs which has really stuck with us, we've hardly stopped thinking about it but are just glad to have saved them – it really was right place, right time," he added.

The Durham Constabulary added online that the pups were transported to a local vet for treatment and that the man with the bag of dogs was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, money laundering, and trafficking. He was later released on bail.

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As part of its investigation, the Durham Constabulary executed a search warrant of the man's residence, where officers found the mother and father of the pups. The police did not say what condition the adult dogs were found in. The Cocker Spaniel family was reunited at the vet, and the parent dogs are now receiving treatment as well, the authorities shared.

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Since the Durham Constabulary posted about the puppies on Monday, they have been "inundated with requests to foster the puppies," according to the agency, which added that arrangements have been made for the entire canine family to "go to a loving home."