Illinois campers spring 8 puppies, 3-legged cat from hot van

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A group of friends camping in southern Illinois over Memorial Day weekend ended up spending their trip with 8 puppies, their mother and a 3-legged cat after springing them from a hot van. Now, all 11 animals have been brought to a shelter to find their forever homes.

Nick Achtien was camping in Jackson Falls at Shawnee National Forest and wrote in a Facebook post that the group heard two dogs bark all night and the next day, discovered they had been abandoned in a hot van. While investigating, someone in his group reached through the cracked window, unlocked the door and discovered a 3-legged cat, 8 puppies and the mother.

The group called sheriff's officials and cared for the animals all weekend. Word about their triumphant rescue traveled through the campsite, and some campers dropped off food for the animals. They have since been brought to Sunrise Center Animal Rescue and ready to find their permanent homes.

Kudos to Achtien, Vanessa Perez, Natalie Skrobis, Don Hudson, Kelly Caird, Meagan Reilly, Katherine Anderson, Alex Collins, Henry Fineberg, Elizabeth Gritter, Alexander Allen, Shuoyuan He, Stuart Graham, Kris Baker, Jeramie Clasussen, Rachel Atlas and Brianna Genevieve.

To donate to the shelter, visit