Three puppies died and two are in critical condition after being tied to a tree with an active bee hive, authorities said Friday.
Firefighters came across the puppies while responding to a suspicious fire on De Luz Rd. in Fallbrook the afternoon of May 31. The puppies were tied to a tree about 25 feet from the fire, according to Dan DeSousa of the San Diego County Animal Services.
When firefighters responded, three of the puppies were already dead, including a five-month-old rottweiler and two five-month-old Jack Russell terriers.
The terriers are believed to have died of strangulation, which most likely happened when they were trying to free themselves from the swarm of bees in the tree they were tied to.
Firefighters were able to save two of the puppies tied to the tree -- a Jack Russell mix and a Chihuahua.
They were rushed to a veterinary hospital and are in critical condition with multiple bee stings.
Animal care technicians named the dogs Buzz and Woody.
They are receiving round the clock care. One of the puppies underwent a blood transfusion earlier his week, DeSousa said in a statement.
Woody's (pictured right) eyelids were paralyzed as a result of the numerous bee stings so he has been receiving eye drops and opthalmic ointment, according to the county Animal Service's Facebook.
The puppies should be moved onto a Carlsbad shelter soon, but due to their injuries, the puppies may not be up for adoption any time soon. Meanwhile, funds from the Department of Animal Service's Spirit Fund are assisting in covering the puppies' medical care.
The fund was instrumental in the recovery of an east county dog found shot on the side of the road in February. The dog was nursed back to health and adopted by a new family in March.
Authorities are looking for any witnesses to the fire, or anyone who may know who tied the puppies to the tree and abandoned them.
Cal Fire is investigating the cause of the suspicious fire.