Three sheepdog puppies were pulled from the rubble of the Hotel Rigopiano ski resort in central Italy on Monday, giving emergency crews hope as they continue their search for 22 people still missing five days after a devastating avalanche.
Another body was located as well, bringing the death toll to seven. In addition, the first survivors were released from the hospital.
Emergency crews happily carried the three sheepdog puppies from the hotel and a firefighter gave one of the fluffy white pups a kiss.
The puppies were born to the hotel's resident sheepdogs, Nuvola and Lupo, last month. The pups' parents found their way out of the avalanche by Wednesday afternoon.
"They just started barking very softly," said Sonia Marini, a member of the Forestry Corps. "In fact, it was hard to find them right away because they were hidden. Then we heard this very tiny bark and we saw them from a little hole the firefighters had opened in the wall. Then we expanded the hole and we pulled them out."
New image of the extremely difficult rescue effort underway in central Italy to find dozens of avalanche victims. pic.twitter.com/fQjbASSHzY