Just one day after Christmas, the brutal temperatures took the lives of eight puppies in Knox County, Illinois.
On December 26th, the Knox County Humane Society got a call from a dog owner whose black lab mix had given birth to a litter of puppies outside in the snow.
Rescuers said the owner had kept the dog outside in below-freezing temperatures and didn't realize she was pregnant.
"I think it was just one of those unfortunate things where the dog just lived there and was just fed daily, and that was about it," said Curt Kramer, Knox County Humane Society.
When shelter workers arrived, eight puppies had frozen to death before they were able to take them back to the shelter. Only one survived from the litter.
"It is sad when you lose animals like that... to know they probably would have been saved if they would have been inside or somewhere where it was warmer, rather than outside," said Kramer.
The mother was also on the brink of dying from exposure.
"Her body temperature was very low. It was below 95, and that's when you start worrying about hypothermia in a dog. Her skin was cold to the touch, her ears were cold to the touch," said Kramer.
The dog and surviving pup were surrendered to the Knox County Humane Society, where they received treatment and a warm place to stay.
"They're both doing really well, and we'll see what happens," said Kramer.
Both mother and pup will be put up for adoption after their recovery.