Karen Read thought she saw a raccoon on the road late Friday night, but then she realized she was looking at a mother dog and more than a dozen puppies.
Read watched as someone in a gold SUV dumped the adult dog and nine puppies along the side of State Park Road in Indiana and then sped away, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.
She called her husband and the police, and with the help of some local residents gathered up the nine puppies as they ran in all directions, down the road and even into a nearby creek. Her husband found eight more puppies while on his way to help.
Porter County Police officers arrived and waited with Read until an animal control officer arrived and took 15 of the 17 puppies to Porter County Animal Shelter. A local resident took in two of the puppies that seemed sick and later delivered them to the shelter.
"I'm glad I came when I did," Read said. "We have coyotes, raccoons and possums out there. They'd be killed."
Police confirmed the mother, a medium-sized black dog, was captured in a live trap Monday.
All 17 of the puppies were then taken in to a foster organization, Lakeshore PAWS, where they will be made available for adoption. They appeared to be from two separate litters: some are yellow lab mix and some are black.
Read said she didn't get a good look at the SUV, but police hope the public can help identify the individual who dumped 18 puppies and their mother on the side of the road.