Sheffield puppies: How French Bulldog puppies dumped in woods last year beat the odds and found forever homes

Taken from their mother, shut in a container, dumped in the woods - just a few hours old and probably with only a few hours left, if they didn't get help.

This is how five French Bulldog puppies abandoned in a Sheffield woods one year ago beat the odds - and where they are now.

A passer-by found them - three females and two males - frozen half to death and, most shockingly, still with their umbilical cords attached, meaning they could only have been a few hours old.

They were rushed to nearby Peak Vets in Sheffield where staff slowly warmed up their freezing bodies and were taken into the care of the RSPCA Sheffield branch. For weeks they had to be hand-reared, which is a taxing job that needs them to be fed every two hours.

Now, the RSPCA has revealed how the pups have survived against the odds, and where they are now.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Sara Jordan, who launched an investigation to find the person responsible for abandoning the puppies, took one of the puppies to hand-rear, who she named Otter . Her colleague Inspector Leanne Booth took in his brother Lenni, while other volunteers took on sisters Lily, Bea and Clover.

Sadly, Clover died aged eight days old from suspected parvovirus. Lenni also contracted this deadly disease but survived against the odds. Thankfully, Lily and Bea went on to find their forever homes too.

Otter is pictured with new owner Tom Buckley, who is a hub manager at the RSPCA call centre in Wath-on-Dearne, while Lenni is with his new mum, Ella Wright (20) in Rotherham. They were pictured on a visit to the RSPCA’s Sheffield Branch to thank staff who cared for the pets.

Sadly these types of cases are all too common during the cost of living crisis. The economic situation is having a major impact on animal welfare and is believed to be a key factor in the sharp rise of people abandoning their pets.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, said: "Rising abandonment levels are very likely a result of the cost of living crisis and people simply not being able to afford to keep their pets.

"Our Animal Kindness Index suggests the cost of living crisis is a major threat to animal welfare today - with owners finding keeping pets more expensive, and large numbers saying their pets had even suffered as a result of owners having to make changes as a result of financial pressures. Sadly, animal welfare risks sliding down people’s priorities.

"We understand the financial difficulties some people are experiencing right now, however abandoning your pet, or not seeking appropriate veterinary help if it’s needed, is never acceptable. There is help and support available and we would urge people to contact their vets, local rescues and animal welfare charities."