It’s mystifying and also pretty horrifying to consider how in the world a litter of seven puppies ended up on an uninhabited island in Manitoba, Canada.
The 4-month-old castaways — or, as I prefer to call them, “castawoofs” — were discovered by JR Cook and Leon Colombe as they were fishing near Cook Lake. They first heard them crying late in the afternoon on July 30. It was by then too dark to explore the island, so the two men returned the next day to investigate. It’s a good thing they did.
At first they thought the crying might be coming from wolves, but they discovered it was the seven Labrador-mix puppies. There were no other adult dogs or any people in sight.
Cook and Colombe returned to the mainland and told a volunteer at Norway House Animal Rescue about the puppies. Over the next three days, as arrangements to transport the puppies off the island were being made by the rescue group, the men returned to the island to feed the puppies. The first day, the hungry puppies devoured an entire bag of food, Debra Vandekerkhove, the director of Norway House, told CBC News.
“They went back three times a day to take care of them,” Jessica Boeckler, adoption coordinator for Norway House, told CBS News. She said the rescue group gets frequent calls about abandoned and stray dogs. “We bring them in, get them properly vetted, sometimes other rescues take them in if we’re full,” she said.
The puppies are staying in a foster home until they’re ready to be adopted in a few weeks. Cook and their foster parents have named the four males and three females after characters on — you guessed it — “Gilligan’s Island,” the classic sitcom about people stranded on an island. Boeckler predicts the now-famous castawoofs will all quickly find forever homes.
In an update posted on the Norway House Animal Rescue’s Facebook page last night, their foster parents reported that all the puppies are doing well. “Skipper and Gilligan are best of friends,” they said. Well, of course they are!
Assuming the puppies didn’t somehow escape their yard and swim to the island, here’s hoping that the monster who dumped them there with no food is arrested and charged with animal cruelty. And here’s hoping that at least two of those very lucky pups are adopted by Cook and Colombe, the men who very likely saved their lives.
For information about adopting the puppies and to make a donation to help care for them and other homeless dogs, visit the Norway House Animal Rescue Facebook page.