An animal rescue says it has been shocked after being given an abandoned, pregnant dog which needed an emergency caesarean to give birth to two puppies.
Fenland Animal Rescue, which is based in Whittlesey but has facilities throughout the county, said it received a call about a crate of abandoned dogs from Cambridgeshire police on Thursday.
It is now working with the RSPCA to find the owners of the dogs.
A spokesperson said: "On Thursday, November 2 at 17:34, we received a call from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, informing us of a crate of dogs that had been abandoned on a doorstep in Abbotsley, Cambridgeshire.
"The call was quickly assessed and, given the bitter weather conditions, it was escalated to our highest grade and one of our animal collection officers arrived on scene within 35 minutes.
"Our rescue team collect many stray and abandoned animals each year, but this is a case that has shocked us all. On arrival, we found one female dog, approximately 12-18 months old, in labour.
"The dog, now named Bella, had already given birth to one puppy within the last hour, who sadly did not survive. Our team immediately transported Bella to the Cromwell’s Veterinary Hospital for emergency treatment, where she underwent an emergency caesarean to recover the remaining puppies inside.
"Thankfully, we can report that both Bella and her remaining two puppies are alive and well at this time. All three will remain in our care as they continue to grow.
"With the animals now safe we are turning our attention to tracing the owner(s) of these dogs. We are working closely with both the RSPCA and local authorities to trace any information that may lead us to finding them.
"This helpless animal was abandoned on a doorstep in the bitter cold, in the dark, whilst in a great deal of pain and discomfort; and had she of not been found, she most certainly would not have survived.
"If you have any information regarding these animals, or witnessed anything in the area of St. Neots Road, Abbotsley, on the evening of the 2nd, then please contact our team via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or subsequently contact the RSPCA on 03001234999.