IT WAS puppy love for families who queued to give homes to 15 pups that had been left to perish in a cardboard box less than 24 hours earlier.
After an appeal went out from the dog shelter for people to adopt the five-week-old puppies, there was no shortage of people who wanted to give them a loving home.
Siobhan McCabe was one of those who travelled from Navan, Co Meath, to be at the shelter in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, when it opened.
Her four children and partner went with her to pick their "new addition to the family".
"She is our first family dog and has been unanimously named Mow. She is gorgeous.
"It is awful that people can be so cruel and knowing that the pups could face being put to sleep if they didn't get homes; we wouldn't have been able to sleep at night if we didn't at least try to help one," she added.
Others came from as far afield as Belfast, Sligo and Kildare to ensure the pups -- which appear to be a cross between a labrador and a collie -- got homes.
Ciara Plant (23) and boyfriend Brian Connaughton (23) left their Naas home at 7.30am "to get in early. We saw the appeal on Facebook and fell in love with them.
"We were seventh in the queue. We got a girl and have called her Harper after Victoria Beckham's daughter, Harper Seven," said Ciara.
Helen Hewett, who set up Carrick Dog Shelter 14 years ago, said: "We have never before had so many pups in one go given to us. They are about five weeks old, too young to be weaned and should have been kept with their mother for another three weeks."
A motorist spotted the abandoned box on the verge of a busy road near Carrickmacross on Saturday and brought it to the pound.
His quick thinking ensured none of the pups wandered out of the box and onto the road.
Now Helen's concern is for the litter's mother. "She will be full of milk for the pups and without medical attention she could get an infection. I would fear that a person who would dump puppies like this would not bother to bring her to a vet. They can leave her with us at the shelter and we will care for her."