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7 puppies found starving on uninhabited island near Cross Lake in Manitoba

Two fisherman found the puppies stranded on a rocky island earlier this week.
Two fisherman found the puppies stranded on a rocky island earlier this week. Norway House Animal Rescue

Skipper is twice the size of Gilligan, and they’re are always chumming around. The professor is the quiet one. Ginger and Mary Ann might be the best looking.

And Thurston Howell III and Mrs. Howell are enjoying the luxuries of the mainland.

Seven puppies named after the characters on the “Gilligan’s Island” TV show are recovering in a foster home after they were rescued from a tiny island in northern Manitoba.

Norway House Animal Rescue removed the starving puppies after they were spotted on a rocky island near Cross Lake by local fishermen Monday, said Debra Vandekerkhove, director of the rescue.

READ MORE: Pets left behind in evacuated Poplar River

“[The dogs have] actually turned around quite a bit in 48 hours,” she said. “No broken bones or anything like that, that we can see.”
Skipper (left) and Gilligan, two of the puppies that were stranded on an island in northern Manitoba, are shown in a handout photo.
Skipper (left) and Gilligan, two of the puppies that were stranded on an island in northern Manitoba, are shown in a handout photo. Credit: Norway House Animal Rescue

The rescue got a phone call from one of the volunteers in Cross Lake after she was contacted by community member J.R. Cook and his friend, who had spotted the dogs on the uninhabited island Monday night.

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“He said ‘Yeah, we heard this noise, you know crying or something, and we looked out with our binoculars in the dark, we could see shadows, we weren’t sure what it was.'”

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The next morning the pair took their boat over to the island and realized what they saw were puppies.

So they ferried food and clean water over to the island for the puppies, along with a doghouse, said Vandekerkhove.

“I’d say they’re three and a half months, maybe four months old. There are three girls and four boys.”

When the rescue was notified, food and supplies the rescue had in the community were sent to the island to the dogs, who “are a little skittish,” said Vandekerkhove, adding they need to get used to being around humans again.

Kennels await the puppies when they’re ready to travel.
Kennels await the puppies when they’re ready to travel. Norway House Animal Rescue

For now, the dogs appear malnourished but in otherwise good health. Norway House Animal Rescue will be transporting the dogs by van as soon as they can to Winnipeg to be checked over by a vet, socialized and eventually put up for adoption.

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“They’re Lab mixes,” she said. “I would say they’re probably Lab-husky mixes.”

As the puppies began to show their personalities, the three females and four males were matched with characters on Gilligan’s Island, who were also stranded on an island.

Vandekerkhove wouldn’t say how the rescue believes the pups ended up on the island but added the rescue is partnering with northern communities to help control their dog populations.

Puppies that were stranded on an island in northern Manitoba, are shown in a handout photo.
Puppies that were stranded on an island in northern Manitoba, are shown in a handout photo. Puppies that were stranded on an island in northern Manitoba, are shown in a handout photo.

People who want to help can make a donation on the Norway House Animal Rescue Facebook page.

The puppies will soon be transferred to Winnipeg, Vandekerkhove said, where they will be put up for adoption.

— With files from Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press

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