AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin pet shelter is thanking people who stepped up to foster puppies who were recently found on the side of the road in Lockhart, but the shelter said it still needs support.

The puppies arrived at Austin Pets Alive! after being found still attached to the umbilical cord of their dead mother, who was likely hit by a car, the shelter said.

APA! said each of the puppies is fighting to live and will require bottle-feeding around the clock every two hours. APA! immediately found foster homes for the “bottle babies” because so many felt compelled to help after the shelter took in the puppies found in a trash bag last month. 

According to the shelter, caring for a litter of puppies costs an average of $1,000 per puppy for vaccines, food and care for six to eight weeks. They are fragile and only have a chance at life because of the supporters and fosters caring for them. 

With these foster homes newly occupied, APA! is urgently needing new fosters to step up and be ready to care for bottle babies.

“These bottle babies literally cannot survive past a few hours without food,” said Allison Swearingen, dog adoption manager at Austin Pets Alive!. “Having fosters ready to jump in at a moment’s notice is crucial for their survival.”

For information on fostering bottle babies like these, go to the shelter’s website.