MORE than 50 applications to rehome four husky puppies, and their mum, have been received by a Nelson rescue centre.

The five dogs, who have been at the Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Rescue Centre for a week now, have attracted national media attention since they were found in ‘pitiful’ conditions in Liverpool.

John Duxbury, who has been running the centre for a year with his partner Christine, said it was the worst case he had ever come across, with the dogs kept locked in a cage for 23 hours a day.

Mr Duxbury said: “The conditions were horrendous. I think it was a failed attempt at breeding and they didn’t realise how much attention they require.

“They didn’t research the breed, and with these dogs you need to adapt your lifestyle to them, rather than the other way round.

“The puppies are now 16 to 17 weeks old, but they are more like eight weeks old in terms of their development because of the pitiful conditions.

“But they have made lots of progress in a week. They have put weight on. On Saturday they shared a £33 sirloin steak for their tea.”

The centre usually carries out fundraisers, rather than relying on donations, but when the story about the five huskies made national news last week they received £3,000 in donations.

And there has been plenty of interest in rehoming the dogs as well.

Mr Duxbury said: “We have had 50 to 60 applications.

“The mother should have a home, and there are a few others where we just need to do a home check to make sure the conditions are right, but they will be staying with us until they have had their vaccinations.

“We are full to the rafters here though. We are having to turn down three, or four, dogs a day because we are that busy.

“I think it is because they are seen as a fashionable dog, but people aren’t doing enough research and are then deciding they simply can’t look after them.”