Seven puppies that were found starving and alone on an isolated northern Manitoba island are on the road to recovery – and when they’re ready to be adopted, they could find themselves overseas.

The black, Labrador retriever-mix pups, which were aptly named after the characters from the television show “Gilligan’s Island,” are being treated at the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter.

The puppies were rescued last week by Norway House Animal Rescue after a fisherman who lives near Cross Lake heard whimpering and found the stranded animals.

When the dogs were transported to Winnipeg, they all showed clear signs of malnourishment. Some had tape worm and most had lice.

But overall, the puppies are “just beautiful,” according to Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter founder Carla Martinelli-Irvine.

“I think they were very, very happy to be rescued,” Martinelli-Irvine told CTV News Channel on Tuesday as Mary Ann sat in her lap.

The puppies are gradually gaining weight and adjusting to handlers at the shelter. They are tentative around people, leading Martinelli-Irvine to believe that they may have a troubled past.

“Because they are so skittish of human beings, I also believe that the probably suffered a bit of cruelty at the hands of a human being,” she said.

At about 15 to 16 weeks old, the puppies are still quite small and adjusting to their surroundings. The shelter plans to keep them for at least another two weeks to make sure they’re healthy enough to be adopted.

The story of the “Gilligan’s Island” puppies has drawn attention from far and wide. Interested callers from as far away as the U.K., Australia and Japan have enquired about how to adopt the pups.

The international attention comes as little surprise to Martinelli-Irvine.

“They’re absolutely adorable,” she said.