Eight puppies are lucky to be alive after eating dirt and leaves to survive after they were dumped in a ditch.

Local rescue group Manitoba Mutts is launching a kibble drive after the pups, only four weeks old and not weaned from their mother, were found in a box on Aug. 9.

UPDATED, August 16 2013: Donations pour in for abandoned dogs

“They were found in a ditch… in rural Manitoba,” said spokesperson Colleen Holloway. “They are in foster homes right now, they were split up two by two.” The group doesn’t know where the puppies parents are, she added.

Holloway said they also don’t know how long the puppies had been in the ditch, but judging from their waste, had started eating leaves, grass, dirt and twigs to survive. “They were trying to blindly feed themselves whatever was around them,” said Holloway.

As a result of the influx of puppies, which the group believes are Catahoula cross puppies, the organization is asking for donations of puppy kibble, saying their inventories have reached a critical low. The group hopes to raise 50 bags of kibble in 50 hours.

Pet Valu and Best West Pet Foods are selling the group’s preferred puppy food at their stores and holding it for the rescue group to pick up. Or, people can buy the puppy food and email food@manitobamutts.org for drop-off locations.

The puppies will be put up for adoption in the future when their health has stabilized and they have been socialized. “This is a very high-maintenance breed,” said Holloway, noting the dogs are full of energy and need the right family. Manitoba Mutts goes through an adoption and screening process before any dog or puppy is adopted to a family.

For more information on these puppies and the many other dogs the group has in their care, visit their Facebook page.

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