VANCOUVER -- The B.C. SPCA says it is facing an expensive medical emergency after six newborn puppies were found abandoned and infected with parasites in a remote area of Northern Vancouver Island.

A passer-by heard cries coming from the litter of German shepherds near Port Alberni and alerted the SPCA.

Four of the eight-week-old dogs need surgery to repair abnormalities on their eyelids; two require the operation on both eyes.

The dogs were suffering from severe mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. They had skin and ear infections, conjunctivitis and were also infected with worms and fleas, according to the SPCA.

"The poor little pups were in rough shape," said SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk in a prepared statement. "They were undernourished, with eyes crusted shut with infection when they were rescued, but they were still wagging their tails and were so sweet."

The SPCA estimates the costs to care for the puppies will exceed $4,000.

The puppies are receiving antibiotics as well as other medical treatments, including daily baths to treat their mange. They are all recovering and doing well, said Chortyk.

"They are so well-behaved and are happy, energetic puppies," she said.

The puppies are currently in foster homes and are not available for adoption at this time.

The SPCA is asking for donations through its medical emergency donation page. Donations can be made here.