KEY LARGO (CBSMiami) — Four puppies abandoned in a hot, metal garbage bin in late July are being offered a new leash on life.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports the puppies, which were found behind Key Largo’s Pink Plaza, will likely all be adopted in a few days.

The 12-week-old pups, possibly full German shepherds, were found in overall good health by an employee taking out the trash behind the shopping center at mile marker 103.5 oceanside. That employee, who wants to stay anonymous, is being called a hero by employees at the Upper Keys Veterinary Hospital in Islamorada and volunteers with Marr-Velous Pet Rescue.

Since an article on the puppies was published Friday on, Marr-Velous Pet Rescue has been “inundated with applications” to adopt them, said Kat Spiegel, with the pet adoption group.

Hope, one of the female puppies, was adopted Monday. The other dogs are Chance — the only male — and females Kismet and Karma. Spiegel said the pups “are doing beautifully.”

Carol Chandler, a nurse at the animal hospital, hopes someone has information about the person or people who left the dogs in the garbage bin. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. E.B. Askins is investigating the case and looking for anyone with information on who abandoned the dogs in such a cruel way. Deputy Becky Herrin, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said people with information can call 305-853-3211.

Dr. Robert H. Foley, the hospital’s veterinarian, and Dr. Kimberly Green have been caring for the dogs since they were brought in July 25.

That day, it was 89 degrees in Key Largo, said Matt Parke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Key West. Add the heat generated by the dumpster, and they well could have died.

“It’s got to get up to 110, 120 easy” in the bin in that heat, Parke said.

Foley said he is not sure how long the animals were in the metal bin, but did say they were discovered just in time. He said if they were in there much longer, they would have suffered from hyperthermia, or heat stroke.

“They would have had kidney failure and dehydration,” he said. “They were slowly baking in that dumpster. This was a horrible, cruel thing to do.”

The woman who found them saved their lives, he said.

“The credit goes to her,” Foley said. She put the dogs in her air-conditioned car and took them to the hospital.

Chandler said other than hook worm, which the hospital treated, the dogs were in good shape.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)


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