(NECN: Nicole Jacobs, Middleboro, Mass.) - More than a dozen puppies were rescued from a Middleboro, Mass. home.
A local veterinarian says they might not have lived had they not received immediate care.
Some slept soundly, while other nibbled and played - a total of 13 adorable pit bull puppies roughly five weeks old and already they've been through more than any their size should.
"Very, very dehydrated, all emaciated, all covered with manure and urine. I don't know when the time they last ate," Dr. David Johnson, a veterinarian, says.
Dr. Johnson received the pups at noon Wednesday after they had been rescued, many with a body temperature hovering around 96 degrees - much lower than the 99 degrees it should be.
"Now they've all eaten and they're like different dogs - little fat bellies on them now," Dr. Johnson says.
According to Middleboro Police, the dogs were rescued from 163 Miller St. The home isn't visible because of trees, but warning signs are a clear indication of pets and the desired privacy here. Police arrested 30 year old John Campbell.
The Brockton Enterprise reports Campbell also faces drugs and weapons charges, and when police raided the home, the dogs were found: 13 puppies four adults all allegedly crammed in a small crate.
"That little one would have died over night and the others, if they didn't get care over the next three or four days, they probably would have died," Dr. Johnson says.
For one little puppy, it's still touch and go - and how she does overnight will determine her future.
"In another day or so they'll be strong enough," Dr. Johnson says.
Found in the knick of time, and proof a little TLC goes a long way, they're expected to be up for adoption in the coming days.