A Puppy Story

I know you all like dog stories. Here is the latest one I have for you.

About two or three weeks ago someone stopped at the vet office and asked if we knew of anyone who takes puppies. That’s the point when everyone at the vet clinic looks at me being I volunteer with the rescue group. I got the person’s information. They said there were 10 pups in the litter. They were her parent’s dogs but her parents were going into assisted living and she was dealing with the dogs now. The pups were lab crosses. I encouraged her to fill out a surrender form with the rescue as I was only a volunteer and didn’t make decisions for the rescue group. I also gave her my phone number with the hope that she could send me pictures and I could pass them to the rescue.

I ended up passing the information to the group. They said they were guessing the pups were likely a pit bull cross and if they were, they wouldn’t take them.

That was the end of it as far as I knew as I never heard the person submitted a surrender form and I never heard for the person.

Then in the middle of the night on the 24th at about 12:30 am, my phone rang. I am a person who always answers my phone in the middle of the night so I answered. The person on the other end was crying. It was the person from the vet office with the puppies. WHAT!! I was sure I was dreaming this. Then on the other end of the line through tears the person said one of the puppies was dying. They were sure it would be dead by morning if it didn’t get immediate help. WHAT!!?? Who did this person think I was? What did this person think I could do in the middle of the night?

AHH.. I told her I was sorry. There was nothing I could do. Then I felt like shit. Couldn’t I do something? Well no. I wasn’t a vet. AHH!!! I hated this. After tossing and turning and feeling terrible about myself because I couldn’t think of anything to do to help, I finally fell back asleep.

I woke up at 5:30 am and I had a plan. Being I work at the vet clinic, I know what was on the schedule. I told the person they had to be at the vet clinic at 6:45 am and one of the vets would see her. UGH. I was putting myself out there because I was really going beyond the scope of my job.

The person said they would come…but then started asking me about what this would cost. UGH. Please don’t tell me this was one of those cases too. UGH.

I left early to get to the vet clinic for work so I could explain what I had done to the vets…after all, I did throw them under the bus too with this plan. I was dreading dragging everyone into this. Please, oh please, let this person at least pay. UGH.

The vets suspected the pups were sick with parvo. That’s a terrible sickness that will wipe out a whole litter of pups and treatment for it is expensive. Also, it’s contagious. There was a new med out to treat it but it was $400 per pup. This lady could never cover that.

So we waited for the pups to arrive. They came late…of course.

Being the pups might be sick, I messaged the person and said they had to wait in the car in case whatever was going on was contagious.

The vet tech went out to get a sample from one of the pups…she came in with a shocked look on her face. The pups were in terrible shape. She guessed it was parvo but had to do the test to be sure.

It turns out it wasn’t parvo. The vet went out and talked to the person. Those pups needed help though as they looked terrible. They were covered in poop.

The vet said she would waive the charge for the test and for caring for the sick puppy if the person surrendered all of the puppies and could have no contact with them. The person agreed.

So…now we had nine puppies. Originally there were ten but the person had sold one. Eight were okay but one wasn’t going to make it. The pups were filthy and undernourished. We originally thought they were all black pups. But after baths, we found out different.

The pups were crusted with poop. Do you how it is where someone gels their hair and the hair sticks up crusted like? That’s how the puppies were. It was terrible.

As you can see, this little pup has some white on her nose. Who knew?

Here they are all cleaned up. We put four in one area and four in another. They all piled on top of each other. What a shock to their poor little bodies.

This is the same group later in the day. The two with white on their noses are girls. The one on the left is the runt. He’s a boy. The other is a girl.

Here are the pups from the other pen. They are so cute…undernourished but they are in good hands now. They will get better.

The pups are part pitbull and part lab. The rescue I work with won’t take them. We’re hoping we can get another rescue to take them but if not, we’ll keep them at the vet clinic and adopt them out. I’m on hold with fostering for the rescue until these guys get figured out. For now, they are best together as they are only seven weeks old.

I know many people have a problem with a pit bull. Not me. At the vet clinic, more of us get hurt by cats and snippy dogs than are ever hurt by breeds categorized as mean. Yes, there are mean pit bulls…but if they are trained, cared for, loved, and taught, they are great dogs. Plus…these are half lab and that’s one of the gentlest breeds ever.

If you’re looking for a pit bull lab mix pup, there are eight for you to choose from at the vet clinic.

I am sorry to say the sick little pup did have to be put to sleep. The others should be all fine though. So we have eight.

Who knew a simple thing like giving out your phone number would lead to a frantic phone call in the middle of the night…and that would lead to a litter of puppies?

This has been my recent life…
On the 13th I got Winston and Churchill. They went home a few days later.
I had the wild cat in my garage that week.
I helped with four breeder release dogs on the 17th.
I picked up eight Australian Shepherd/Corgi pups on the 18th. I kept two to foster. They both have homes and are gone.
The pitbull/lab mixes on the 24th.

Thank goodness other people have stepped up and helped with these too. I am just one person…that is too much. People need to spay and neuter dogs and cats!!

I can’t make this stuff up folks…I just can’t…and that is your puppy story. Hopefully it’s the only one this week.

24 thoughts on “A Puppy Story”

  1. It makes me sick how some people treat animals!! Especially ones who breed and sell them! So good that there are people like you who will step up and do what they can for animals who’ve been mistreated! Thank you, Jo!

  2. Ana Marie Sweet

    The life of anyone involved in rescue in this world. Saddest is when it is children who need emergency fosters in the middle of the night. I was on a jury for a trial and found out the drugs (heroin and fentanyl) were in a shoebox next to a tv in a hotel room with four children under the age of 6 in the room with no supervision. The mother and her boyfriend were out selling drugs. Animals also need caring people to advocate for them too. Our world needs all the villagers compassion and help. Thank you Jo for helping so much.

    1. That just blows my mind. How do people get into that kind of place? I just don’t know the half of what happens out there….

  3. Thank you Jo for being so kind hearted. It’s no accident that lady called you for help. Your vet clinic sounds just wonderful. I’m sure someone will rescue those cute pups.

  4. You almost can’t believe these stories, yet I know you are telling the sad truth. I hope this didn’t stress you out even more and what a wonderful group you work for! Some vets would never do this. People are cruel and clueless.

  5. My son had a pitbull crossed with a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She was named Stella and lived to be 13. She was the sweetest thing you ever met. Her only one issue was that she thought she was a lap dog. It was a little difficult as she weighed between 65 and 70 pounds. She was great with his kids and 2 years later we all still miss her.

  6. For sure, you couldn’t make this up! So sad, but thanks to you and those wonderful vets you work for, there’s a happy ending. All those puppies are darling! Praise the Lord there are people like you!

  7. So true Jo- a lot of great pet owners and a lot more irresponsible ones. Most of my pets with the exception of my husbands service dogs (2) and all of my cats have been “throwaways”. It’s sad. The poor dogs-cats are loved then grow up and no longer cute.We found ourselves homeless 3 times and we did the best we could to keep our pets anyway.That vet did a nice thing for those pups and I hope they all get loving safe homes soon. I’m surprised though that the parents going into assisted living didn’t have the mom dog fixed.Maybe this was her first litter? It’s nice that you also tried to go above and beyond the norm.

  8. I read a lot of stories about cats who get rescued and fostered and re-homed. I feel good reading about caring people who do this, and I admire them. Thank you for all the good you do. You certainly went above and beyond in this case, but I hope it doesn’t set a precedent, for you or the vet….

  9. Yes, people need to spay and neuter but sadly, most people simply can’t afford it. Vet costs have risen tremendously so now not only are pets not getting sterilized, they aren’t getting dental care and even, in some cases, vaccinations. Counties need to step up and reach more which means they need more money. If possible make donations to county animal control locations. They can offer free adoptions, free vaccination days with added private funds and that’s great for everyone. Cats seldom get adopted here when it’s $130 but when it’s free you’d be amazed how many find homes. Speaking of cats, I wish shelters insisted that cats be kept indoors. We have a horrible problem here with ferals or pets getting pregnant because people let their cats out. Why? It’s so dangerous between roaming dogs, traffic, mean neighbors, raccoons, etc not to mention fleas and ticks. Cats do not need to go outside! If you adopt a pet then take care of it as a pet. Play with your cat, get a couple toys they like so they get exercise and stimulation but don’t let them out. We also have too many people move and just leave the cat behind to fend for themselves. So many end up in our yard, I think they feel safe since it’s all fenced with places to hide, so we do put out food and water because I won’t let any animal go hungry or thirsty. We do get a mom raccoon and her 3 illegitimate children a few times a week, lol. And a very sweet, small opossum once in a while. Everyone is welcome but I hope the skunk doesn’t come back!

  10. You have such a good heart as does your vet. It breaks my heart that someone would treat these babies like that! I’m so thankful they are in good hands now. I agree about pits. I have a pit vizsla mix. When we adopted him at the shelter they told us he was German shepherd cross but he’s not. He is the sweetest, most gentle baby, loves to sit in my lap and get snuggles. I also have German shepherd ( also classified as “mean”) and she’s also a giant baby. They’re both over 90lbs and gentle as can be with my kids, even my 4 year old. It’s absolutely how you train them. God bless you Jo for all you do. ❤️

  11. Jo, ever since you have been involved with the rescue, you have made remarks about how helpful the vet clinic has been to the animals. They have extended a significant amount of time and resources in support of the rescue. Is there anything we, your readers, can do help them continue this vital work?

  12. Jo, I agree with you about pit bulls. My nephew had a pit bull for 12 years. Sweetest dog ever! Always had to sit in my lap when I visited, which was hilarious!. Shadow probably weighed 55 lbs, whereas I am 5’ 1’ and 122 lbs. I still miss that dog!

  13. Did you find someplace/rescue that would take the puppies? I live in the KC area and know a couple of folks that are very involved in animal rescue organizations here and I could reach out to them if they haven’t been accepted somewhere.

    Thanks for all you do – you have such a big heart!

  14. Wow! What a sad story. Something like that happened in our area with undernourished and dirty animals and the owners were arrested for cruelty to animals. Did you hear what happened to the mother of the pups? Surely they wouldn’t have been undernourished and covered in feces if she was with them. (Idk, maybe mom dogs don’t clean their pups like a cat does??, cat person here.) A sad situation for sure. Hope they all get a happy home.

  15. Jo, you went above and beyond–you are a hero!
    I am so tired of hearing stories like this. My daughter has volunteered at a rescue in IL and is not sure she can continue because of the way the place is run. It’s terrible.

  16. Christine Burch

    I have a 2 year old lab/pit mix and she is so incredibly sweet and gentle. My experience with her has been nothing but positive. Although she definitely has a high prey drive particularly when it comes to squirrels.

  17. It’s shocking that people let their animals get into such a bad state, and to sell a puppy before it’s 8 weeks old too! Thank goodness you were there, Jo. The vets you work for sound amazing.

  18. What a blessing you are, Jo. Not many people would do this. Thank you for being so kind and considerate.
    Love and prayers

  19. You are such a good person! Hope the mom dog gets neutered. No excuse as to not neutering due to cost in our area though some people still don’t do it. Although we are rural there are three non profits within a half hour drive that neuter dogs and cats for very very little money.

  20. we must have a neon sign that hangs around our necks saying, “sucker”! i can attest to your dog personality statement. a pit/lab mix puppy (about 12 weeks) showed up in our front yard asking for help. sick, of course. dumped. we contacted “act now” foster group in st louis and applied to work as an official foster in exchange for adoption help. (fostering has been a great experience. lots of hard work with daily love payoffs) “p” is now a healthy, sweet, cuddle bug. she enjoys snuggles with her dog and cat residents when her people are not available. such a loving dog who will always be saddled with a “bad rep”. (our australian shepherd was much more aggressive than she will ever be!) we love her dearly, and someone is going to get an awesome friend for life.

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