MOUNT CARMEL - The "Tornado Nine" and their mother will be ready for adoption next week.

The nine puppies found huddled under the home bleachers of the Silver Bowl stadium in February are visiting a veterinarian for their shots this week, said Ronda Balonis, of Shamokin, who volunteers in her hometown area for the Sunbury area Mostly Mutts animal shelter.

"The puppies are healthy and doing great," Balonis said Monday. "We are keeping them for another week to make sure everything is OK and then we'll put their pictures online."

The mother, a yellow lab mix, Balonis said, was seen around the Silver Bowl while pregnant several weeks prior to the discovery of the pups. Concerned citizens put out food for her.

When the puppies were found, they were about three weeks old at the time. There are six males and three females. They were gathered up and, with their mother, taken to Mostly Mutts.

All the puppies were deemed to be healthy, but the mother had to be treated for a breast infection. She has since recovered. Balonis said she will be put up for adoption as well, after she is spayed.

"The puppies seem to be a Labrador-boxer mix," she said. "They are all very playful and lovable and ready for a good home."

District support

Mount Carmel Area School District students and personnel have used the canine discovery as a lesson in community action. The sale of Tornado Nine T-shirts and a contest to name the puppies raised $750 for the dogs and Mostly Mutts, which is a no-kill shelter.

"This has been a great story with a fabulous outcome," district Superintendent Bernie Stellar said Monday. "From Mostly Mutts to the community members involved in their rescue to those who raised money for the puppies, everyone deserves kudos."

Stellar predicts it won't take long to find permanent homes for the puppies and their mother, as district personnel and community members have told him they'll jump at the chance at the cute pups.

"That's great news, because that means they will all be going to good homes," he said.

Balonis said applicants will be processed and screened in searching for the right match for the animals.

To inquire about the puppies and their mother, or for more information on Mostly Mutts, visit www.mostlymuttsonline.com or call 988-6483.