Surprise package contains canines

An Oak Harbor woman found a box alive with surprises on the side of Highway 20 last Wednesday.

The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, was driving about a mile and a half north of Coupeville when she noticed a small dog running frantically up and down the side of the road. She pulled over when she saw a box placed precariously close to traffic.

She got out and opened the box. Inside were three little puppies struggling to get free. She quickly grabbed the box , lured the mother dog into her car and sped off to Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation shelter.

Donna Merryfield, a WAIF employee, said the woman likely saved the puppies from being hit by traffic. The little guys were trying to get out of the box and had the tape ripped off when they were found. “They would have been on the highway,” she said.

The mother dog, Merryfield said, is a 30-pound border collie mix and “a sweetheart.” She was found wearing a harness. The three male puppies, about six weeks old, have since been named Pumpkin, Phantom and Pilgrim. Despite their abandonment, they are as wiggly and happy as any typical puppies.

Merryfield said the shelter is trying to find a foster parent to take the dog family until the puppies are old enough to be adopted. Anyone with interest in the foster program should call WAIF at 678-5816.

Carol Barnes, the county animal control officer, said she currently has no leads in the case of the abandoned puppies. Anyone with any information can contact her at 678-3722.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at or call 675-6611.

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