Most mothers, including animal moms, will do almost anything to protect their babies. But sometimes those measures go a bit too far and can end up hurting the offspring, as was the case for a mother of 11 puppies.
In the following story, a stray dog gave birth to 11 puppies in someone’s backyard. To shield her babies against a bad storm, the mother dug a very deep hole in the ground and placed the puppies inside. It was so deep in fact, that the puppies couldn’t escape. It took experienced rescuers and a lot of patience to get to the puppies. Here’s the dramatic story…
Rainy Day in Michigan
The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) doesn’t usually have to deal with much inclement weather as the state’s average annual rainfall is 33 inches, six under the national average. So on this day they weren’t exactly anticipating the situation that was about to unfold.
Michigan Humane Society
According to the MHS website, it’s the oldest (founded in 1977) and largest nonprofit animal welfare organization in the state: “Each year, the MHS achieves 100 percent adoption of more than 10,000 healthy and treatable animals.”
Their mission is “to improve and save lives through compassionate care, community engagement and advocacy for animals.” Then on that fateful day, the MHS received a call from a neighbor who heard some puppies barking helplessly in a yard, and they knew the situation was serious.
The MHS Arrives
Being that there was severe rain in the area prompting a flash flood warning, rescuers knew the situation was dire. As reported by ABC 7 News, a man living at a home nearby heard the puppies crying and called for help. When two MHS rescue workers, Chris and Pam, arrived, they counted 11 puppies buried underground.
In a rather unusual move, the rescue mission was broadcast on Facebook Live. The CEO of the MHS, Matthew Pepper, said that streaming the ordeal was “a unique opportunity to show people what their support makes possible, and what we do every day.”
In a video streaming for thousands of people to see, Chris mentioned that the puppies were trapped inside a whole that the mother had dug. He believed that the dogs’ mother buried them to protect them from the bad weather. At that moment, it became clear that no foul play was involved, bringing a sigh of relief to the many viewers watching.
Planning the Rescue
The rescuers had to work fast to rescue the puppies, so they set a trap to help. Chris said that the puppies couldn’t escape the hole so they might have to crawl in there and get them. He also noted that the mother had been running loose on the streets, so they set a trap to catch her as well.
Rescuing the First Puppy
When Cris arrived back in the backyard, he said he couldn’t find the mother yet, but that the puppies needed to be rescued immediately. Once the ground got too muddy and wet, the animals could likely get pushed even further in the ground and even die. He saved the first puppy, but he still had ten more to go.
A Deep Hole
Chris got down on the ground so that he could see further into the narrow hole. He then handed two more puppies to his colleague Pam, who placed the dogs into a cage. “Wow, this thing is deep. I can’t believe how deep this thing is,” Chris said. All the while, during the video, you could hear cries from the puppies deep beneath the ground.
Out of the Rain
He used a flashlight to try and spot the remaining puppies, but he couldn’t. “Ok, I think we might have to dig a little bit. I don’t know which way to dig, it looks like it goes all the way back here,” Chris said. In the meantime, Pam took the three puppies into their van so they didn’t get soaking wet.
Chris began to experience problems while digging, being that if he dug too fast, he could accidentally hurt one of the puppies with the shovel. Using extreme caution, Chris knelt on the ground and carefully dug while saying, “There’s a lot of storms coming in today, where they’re saying there’s some flood warnings. This [hole] goes down and out so if that thing fills up, those puppies aren’t going to make it.”
Keeping the Family Together
“They’re on the borderline of where you can take them out without mom, but I’d rather take them together [as a family],” he continued. Both Chris and Pam knew they had to work fast and as Chris dug a deeper hole, he heard more cries from the puppies. Thankfully, he pulled another puppy from the hole and handed it to Pam to place into the cage.
Stuck in the Muddy Cave
“I could see them, it’s like there’s a little cave under there,” Chris said. But he didn’t want to dig too far out since he could disturb the cave and it would literally cave in. Chris said, “I could hear them, I just can’t see them, but they’re back there.” He then began speaking to the puppies in an attempt to lure them out. “ Hi guys, it’s your Uncle Chris, come out and play.”
“Come here muddy puppy, I can see you,” he continued. The dynamic duo (Chris and Pam) put some food at the opening, hoping the puppies would move forward and they can lure them out that way. Pam put an open can of wet food as close to the hole’s opening as possible and waited for the puppies to gather around.
By then, they had rescued five puppies out of the hole and Chris said that he could see at least three more. However, this meant that there were still three more that he couldn’t see. “They’re just out of reach,” he said. Finally, Chris grabbed another pup and handed it to Pam.
Racing Against Time
As the rest of the puppies whimpered, they worried whether or not they’d be able to get all of them out in time. Worst of all, there were still no signs of their mother. Chris said that if the mother showed up, “Her first intention could be to protect the puppies and this could cause me some serious injury.”
Going in Head-First
As he continued pulling the puppies out, Chris joked, “It’d be nice to have longer arms. Alright Pam, get ready to grab my feet.” As he lowered himself into the hole, the puppies’ crying got louder and louder. With every dog they rescued, they prayed that the mother would walk into the trap that they made for her.
As Pam went to their truck to grab a tool to better catch the puppies, Chris finally spotted the mother in a neighbor’s yard. Just as he did, another puppy peeked its adorable head out. He brought the puppy to safety and while waiting for another flashlight, Chris walked over to the mother’s trap. They covered the cage with food and sheets so the mother would see it as a safe place, although she still wouldn’t go in.
Never Giving Up
“We’ll try to come out every hour on the hour to grab her if she’s in there. If we don’t get her today, we’ll set the trap tomorrow. We’ll keep trying, we’re not going to give up.” While they waited for the mother, Chris continued reaching in the deep hole for the rest of the puppies. Two proved to be very talkative, one letting out a yelp that Pam heard all the way from the car.
A Successful Rescue
It was a joyful moment when Chris announced that they had rescued ten puppies. Finally, as Chris grabbed the last one, while covered in mud, he joked, “My washer is going to hate me.” In the end, all eleven puppies including their mother were safely evacuated. By the end of the day, they were cleaned up at the shelter, received vaccinations, and went on to recover from the ordeal, all thanks to the Chris and Pam of the MHS.
Two Michigan Humane Society Heroes Save 11 Puppies from Raging Thunderstorm is an article from: LifeDaily