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Courtesy Helping Animals Live Tomorrow Rescue

An Arvin police officer found these puppies after they were doused in oil.

When you work for an animal rescue group, you never know what situation is going to be waiting on the other end of the next telephone call.

For Mindy Poulton, a board member for H.A.L.T. (Helping Animals Live Tomorrow) Rescue, it was puppies covered in motor oil.

Poulton got a call Monday night from an upset Arvin Police Department officer after he found the pups.

"Apparently, that's some kind of wives tale to cure parasites," Poulton, a retired Kern County sheriff's deputy, said of the motor oil bath.

The Arvin officer, who knows Poulton from working with her in her previous career, told Poulton he got a call Monday from a Spanish speaking man who was worried about the puppies' health.

The man said he had found the pups, pit mixes, in an orange grove the day before.

"The officer had to use an interpreter so they may have struggled with the translation, but the man said he thought they had parasites so he put them in motor oil," Poulton said. "Then they started to look bad and that's when he called the police."

She said the pups do look like they have mange so perhaps the Spanish speaking man thought the motor oil would help them.

"So they weren't viciously submerged and left to die," she said. But she was frustrated the man didn't think to call someone for help or advice.

H.A.L.T. got the pups into a foster home Monday night where they were bathed in Dawn dishwashing soap and enjoyed a very big meal.

"They were starving and obviously have worms," Poulton said.

They're now at All Critters Pet Hospital on Rosedale Highway being evaluated.

Poulton had no idea what their prognosis would be, but the vet bills will definitely strain H.A.L.T.'s limited finances.

She put the animals' story up on the group's Facebook page and is seeking donations, foster care or help of any kind.

She said since putting the puppies on Facebook, the group has received about 10 donations, for which they are very grateful.

"Every penny counts," another H.A.L.T. volunteer chimed in.

H.A.L.T. is a 501(c)3 licensed nonprofit animal rescue. The group holds adoption days every other Saturday at Tractor Supply on Rosedale Highway and every Saturday at Petco on Gosford Avenue.

Donations are being taken at H.A.L.T.'s website at:

-- Lois Henry, Californian columnist