One in an occasional series
By: Kathy Hecker, Humane Officer
I think that the staff here at Animal Friends are truly amazing people. Dedicated, kind, hardworking, attentive and happy to be doing what they are doing for the animals in our care. As the Humane Officer out in the field most of the time dealing with not-so-nice people, it's always a joy to return to this little bubble we call our shelter.
I know that most of the animals here are pretty amazing too, but the ones I remember most are some of the dogs and cats I have seen on their home turf, struggling to survive, to love and be loved, to find happiness in their unique animal way.
I will never forget Mia...one of my first rescues. Her owner let his dogs breed indiscriminately and when he felt overloaded, he would dump various litters of puppies at different shelters. When we finally added it all up, we counted over 250 puppies that he had handed over to 6 or 7 shelters in just 4 years.
I responded to a complaint that a mother dog and her litter of puppies were seen about 100 yards from his house, near a burn pile. The good Samaritan said that the puppies were newborns and didn't look good.
I was horrified to find these pups, not just near a burn pile, but in it. Clearly, the owner didn't want to be bothered to drive them to a shelter so he was going to just let them die and burn them up like so much garbage.
The mother dog was frantically tugging at them and looked to me for help. I put the pups in a crate and this fuzzy, black dog I called Mia followed me to the van and without any hesitation jumped in the front seat.
Here's the amazing thing: Mia was not the mother of these pups. Our medical team judged her to be only about 5 months old herself and not nursing. Mia's instincts told her that these tiny newborns needed help. She had been tending to them since the night before and never abandoned her vigil even to eat or find shelter for herself.
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