Homes are likely to be found for two little puppies whose mother was abandoned when she was pregnant.

Rosco and Bosco were born at Dungannon Council pound in County Tyrone after their mum, Copper, was picked up as a stray by the dog warden.

The mother, a Harrier Hound, delivered a litter of 10 puppies six weeks ago, but only Rosco and Bosco survived.

All three dogs were taken to the Dogs Trust’s Ballymena centre and the puppies are now old enough to find new homes.

Since the plight of the dogs appeared in the media the centre has received lots of calls offering homes to the animals.

Canine carer Denise Tonner told the BBC’s News website on Thursday they would be carrying out home checks with prospective adopters.

“There have been a lot of phone calls – so fingers crossed they’re going to be rehomed.”

She said they had been letting people expressing interest in the animals know that while they were puppies now, that because they were hounds they would grow to a fair size.

puppiesRaising awarness of the dogs plight on Wednesday, Mary Carney, Dogs Trust Ballymena rehoming centre manager, said unwanted litters could be avoided.

“We strongly urge any responsible dog owner to get their dog neutered to avoid unwanted litters contributing to the stray dog problem in Northern Ireland.”

She said that last year there were more than 11,000 stray dogs in Northern Ireland – one of the highest numbers for any region in the UK.

Some 3,000 were put to sleep by local authorities who could not trace their owners or find new homes for them.

Ms Carney added: “Dogs that are just like little Rosco and Bosco and who have done nothing to deserve such a poor start to their little lives.”

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, caring for more than 15,000 stray or abandoned dogs every year through its network of 17 Rehoming Centres across the UK.