One day, a resident of Vineland, New Jersey, was driving along when they came upon the saddest sight imaginable: five bald, sick-looking dogs huddled together by the side of the road. The fact that these unfortunate infants had been abandoned was instantly obvious, and the Good Samaritan passing by felt they couldn’t just leave them there.
The individual immediately alerted the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, who dispatched an animal control officer to retrieve the puppies. They were in such horrible form that the officer chose to take them to the vet instead of transporting them to the shelter, since it was evident that they need immediate medical assistance.
The puppies were transferred to the shelter after being examined by a veterinarian, and the employees and volunteers there couldn’t believe their eyes. Despite having gone through so much and been mistreated, the puppies were still the sweetest little dogs who welcomed their rescuers with nothing but love and thanks.
“Even with the state that they were in, they were all quite lovely on intake,” Kathleen Leary, director of operations for the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, told The Dodo. “They were kissing our cheeks and wagging their tails.”
The puppies are estimated to be roughly 5 and a half months old and are probably a mastiff-cane corso mix, but it’s tough to tell due to their poor condition. They’re still mostly bald, with tufts of fur here and there, and they’re getting a lot of therapy and attention to ensure that their rehabilitation goes as smoothly as possible.
“They’re on antibiotics, eye medications, and medicated baths, and our veterinarian will check on them monthly,” Leary added.
All five puppies have been placed in foster care and are doing quite well given the circumstances. The Mushroom Kingdom 5: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Daisy, and Princess Peach are the names given to them by the shelter after Super Mario characters.
“Their little personalities are [slowly] emerging; they all seem to get along well with other dogs and enjoy being around humans,” Leary added.
The shelter hopes to have all five pups available for adoption in about a month, but that depends on how they improve. They want to make sure they’re all healthy and happy before sending them off to their forever homes. The Mushroom Kingdom 5 had a difficult start in life, but now they’re getting the love and attention they’ve always craved, and they’ll never have to fear about being abandoned again.