A dozen little mixed-breed puppies owe their lives to Vidor resident Karla Patella. Patella says she was driving to work around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when she saw what she thought was two little dogs huddled together on the side of the road. When she got closer, she discovered there were 12 puppies in all.

"I just had tears in my eyes, I could not believe someone would leave them on the side of the road like that," Patella told 12News.

"They were all wet and cold and shivering but they were excited to see me... they had been rescued."

Patella says she found them off the I-10 feeder road near Timberlane Drive. She says they were all sitting on top of a soaking wet pillow. Surrounding the pillow was a disintegrated cardboard box, ruined by the overnight rain, and a plastic lid Patella believed was covering the box.

"I just can't imagine what type of heart they had to drop that box off like that, it just really tore me up inside," Patella said.

Patella took them to Vidor Animal Control, where they will be up for adoption starting Friday. Animal Control supervisor Linda Cathey says they will keep the puppies as long as they can, but they may have to put them down if no one adopts them and the shelter runs out of space.

Although their future is uncertain, the pups are certainly better off than they were Tuesday night, all thanks to Patella.

Patella says if she didn't already have 3 dogs of her own, she wouldn't hesitate to adopt a few of the puppies herself.

If you're interested in adopting one of the puppies, call Vidor Animal Control at 409-769-8718.