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Fundraiser launched for 'starving' dogs found on remote B.C. island

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Fish farm workers on northern Vancouver Island are trying to unravel a mystery surrounding a pair of abandoned dogs found on a remote island.

The dogs were first spotted at the end of December by fish farm workers boating past Minstrel Island, east of Port McNeill.

It was an unusual place for the dogs to be, and at first the workers thought they were wolves.

"Once they realized they were dogs, they were all such amazing humans, they went and tried to rescue these dogs," said Jill Laviolette with the Tri-Port Wildlife Response Team.

"It took quite a few hours and it was an ordeal," she said.

Once the dogs were secured, the workers brought them to Port Hardy where they underwent medical treatment.

They're now being fostered by Laviolette.

"They were in rough shape," she told CTV News. "I don't know how much longer they would have lasted out there."

"They were starving, they were so skinny. Their skin was just kind of hanging off them," she said.

Laviolette says the dogs were initially untrusting of people, but they've since warmed up.

"They're big boys but just such loving, caring, fluffy animals," she said. "Gosh they're great."

An online fundraiser recently launched to pay for the pair's medical expenses and to help find new homes for the dogs, which are believed to be mixed-breed brothers a little over one year old.

"[Jill's] been fostering them and putting out her own money to take care of them. It's a big toll," said Shannon Briggs, the person who launched the fundraiser.

Research has been done to trace back who the original owner of the dogs was, and Laviolette considers this to be a case of neglect or abuse.

She says the SPCA has been informed.

For now though, the focus is on getting the dogs to their forever homes. 

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