SEVEN Labrador puppies were found abandoned on the South Downs Way near Winchester last night.

They were spotted by cyclist Rob Carter as he pedalled on the South Downs Way close to the junction with Rodfield Lane near Cheesefoot Head.

Rob told the Chronicle today: "We were riding back to Winchester yesterday evening at 8.30pm when we saw a Labrador puppy on the edge of the path. No collar and clearly very scared. We called it to us and checked that it was not injured.

"We discussed what we should do next and as we were trying to formulate a plan two more emerged from the shadows. Then some cyclists coming towards us shouted in alarm and four more puppies arrived. With seven puppies at our feet we had no idea what to do."


The puppies last night. Photo: Rob Carter

The puppies last night. Photo: Rob Carter


The group tried calling 101 but got no answer and Winchester City Council was closed. A vet directed them to Colin Stoneman at Three Oaks Boarding Kennels, on Botley Road, Bishop's Waltham, where the puppies were taken and remain this morning.

Rob, of St Giles Hill, added: "As you can see these are beautiful Labrador puppies. Some are fox red, others more golden. My suspicion is that these could have been stolen and then abandoned. They were used to human contact but clearly very hungry."

The South Downs way is a well-used route. "This is such a busy path that I don't think they can have been there for long. We were with them for over an hour in all that time not one of them barked.


The puppies on the South Downs Way last night. Photo: Rob Carter

The puppies on the South Downs Way last night. Photo: Rob Carter


"Colin is going to find out if they have a chip and if so hopefully they can be returned to their owner if they have been stolen. Otherwise hopefully new homes can be found for them. It is so sad to see dogs treated like this."

The police said they are unaware of any reported thefts of Labrador puppies.

A spokesperson for Three Oaks Boarding Kennels said today: "They are all absolutely fine and are being bathed at the moment. They had plenty to eat last night as they were so hungry.

"We havent been contacted by anybody to claim them. We tried to scan for microchips but can't find them yet. They are adorable."

READ THE LATEST HERE: Puppies set to be rehomed


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