Two puppies popped out of a sealed shipping container that arrived in Chennai, southern India, from China at the Salcomp electronics factory in the Nokia telecom park in Sriperumbudur, astounding not just the staff but also veterinarians, who realised the dogs had survived a journey of 25 days across 1,900 miles (3,000km) without food or water. When staff at the factory opened the container with machinery, they were surprised to find two puppies they had not ordered along with the spare parts.
Veterinary college professor Shafi said: "It is a miracle that the puppies survived without food or water for over three weeks.Generally, they can go without feed or water for about a week. This seems to be an extraordinary exception."
General manager of The Blue Cross of India animal shelter Dawn Williams said both puppies, about three-and-a-half months old, were taken to their shelter in Velachery on Saturday afternoon.
The Nokia telecom park security noted that the "puppies were found in a dehydrated, famished and sick condition".
The container was sealed in China on September 5, and arrived at the Sriperumbudur factory on Friday. There was no trace of any food or water inside the container, Williams said. Another veterinarian from the animal husbandry department said the puppies should be quarantined for a fortnight to ensure they are not carrying any viruses.
Williams said the rescued puppies were bathed and kept apart from other animals in the shelter. The puppies had fever and were given medication. "We plan to keep the puppies in the shelter and observe them for a week. If quarantine officials demand that the puppies be handed over to them, we will do so.
"After quarantine, we will try to find suitable homes for the puppies," Williams said, although at this stage their survival is still not assured.
The Blue Cross of India added that since the Indian Government banned the import of dogs from other countries, breeders have been looking for ways to smuggle "fresh stock" into India. Perhaps the crate was originally to have been "intercepted" and released of its suffering "cargo" before proceeding to Salcomp, and that particular phase of the operation did not take place due to some unknown reason. At this point, they still do not know, though they hope law enforcement treats this case most seriously and conducts a thorough investigation that unearths the intended receiver if this turns out to be the case.