WEST HAVEN, Utah — Three puppies are recovering after two snowmobilers rescued them Sunday from a Weber County mountain top.
Holt and Perry were riding snowmobiles Saturday when they spotted a Great Pyrenees dog, five miles away from the nearest paved road.
"I'm not going to leave any animal on the mountain to starve, especially, it was obvious she had pups," Perry said.
They went back up Sunday, knowing full well it was a long shot.
Holt and Perry say it was "just dumb luck" when they found the mother and three puppies living in a sheep carcass.
"They're adorable," Holt said.
They were able to save the puppies, but despite the couple's best efforts, they couldn't save the mother dog.
"Everything just fell right into place except for rescuing the mom," Perry said.
Weber County Search and Rescue just happened to be in the area and helped bring the puppies off the mountain. Their mother was too wild to trust her rescuers. Perry left behind 20 pounds of dog food.
"We didn't have a leash, we didn't have a rope or anything, so we decided the best thing was [to] get these guys out first and then go back in and try to get her," Holt said.
Investigators believe the mother was protecting a flock of sheep on the mountain over the summer, which is typical for the Great Pyrenees breed. When the rancher went to collect the herd, they believe, the dog had gone off to have the litter.
"They were living in a sheep carcass. She had found a dead sheep and they had eaten, there was nothing left, just a little bit of wool and a few big bones. I'm sure that's what she'd been eating on all fall," Perry said.
Two males and a female survived, likely from a much larger litter.
"The pups were cold, shivering and wet and just a little ball of ice," Perry said.
Now, the couple is considering keeping one pup they've named Polar, as volunteers search for their mother.
The remaining puppies will be adopted out through a Great Pyrenees rescue group based out of Montana.
This story was originally published by Hailey Higgins on KSTU in Salt Lake City, Utah.