Shocked and huddled together for safety, these puppies are lucky to be alive after being saved from an act of almost unbelievable barbarity.
A gang of youths had seized the seven-week-old brother and sister and were slowly roasting them over a bonfire on a canal bank.
Yelping in panic and distress as their fur began to burn, the pair struggled desperately to escape the children’s clutches.
The commotion attracted a walker who ran over to the bonfire and ordered the gang to release them immediately.
Melanie Johnson, 32, said: ‘I just could not believe the cruelty being shown by these kids. If I hadn’t turned up, I think they would have burned the dogs alive.’
Miss Johnson, from Rochdale, added: ‘Most of the kids were aged 12, 13 or older. But some were as young as ten. I was ripping mad and still am to think that anyone – least of all children – could do this.’
She took the two puppies from the bank and carried them to the safety of her home before wrapping them in a towel and taking them to an RSPCA shelter.
The cross-bred pups were examined by a vet after the incident in Newbold, Rochdale on Friday and were found to be in generally good health.
Jean Spencer, the RSPCA shelter manager, said: ‘The puppies are only seven weeks old and still smelled of smoke from the bonfire when they arrived.
‘The fur on one of them was singed and the other has a small hernia. Fortunately, they are going to be fine.’
She added: ‘To think that children could be so cruel is really disgusting. The puppies are absolutely gorgeous. Everyone here has fallen in love with them.’
The male puppy has been named Guy and his sister Cinders.
They will now go to a shelter in Halifax to be re-homed.
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
What? Why? WTF?