Rescue team members carry the three puppies found alive in the rubble of the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel in Abruzzo, Italy. The puppies were said to be in good health after almost five days buried in freezing snow.
Rescue team members carry the three puppies found alive in the rubble of the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel in Abruzzo, Italy. The puppies were said to be in good health after almost five days buried in freezing snow. FIREMEN / HANDOUT

Puppy rescue lifts hopes, spirits

THE rescue of three white sheepdog puppies from under snow and rubble at the avalanche-hit Hotel Rigopiano in Italy has raised hopes of rescuing more humans. The puppies were pulled out of the boiler room, lifting spirits as the search dragged on five days after 40 people were trapped. More body finds raised the death toll to nine, with 20 people missing, as the first of the 11 known survivors left hospital. Questions intensified about how authorities underestimated the risks the resort faced in the hours before the avalanche slid 60,000 tonnes of snow, rocks and trees into it.



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