You may have read about the little dog found frozen to the concrete of a backstreet alley or the dead emaciated mother cat whose new born kittens persisted in struggling for a taste of milk - a simple taste of life would do. Did you see the lone dog standing dangerously near the traffic of a busy highway, waiting for his master, his beloved, to return to the spot where he was dumped, dumped by his master?
Among the sordid Christmas stories in which animals were the victims of a cruel, detached and selfish society, there is one this year that warms the heart of any animal rescuer. Although not entirely satisfactory, it ranks high on the scale of human compassion extended to a desperate plea for the life of a totally unknown dog who unintentionally touched the heart of a Christmas traveler.
A young woman, Alex, (not her real name), and her family were returning to Atlanta from Florida on December 26th. Just before the Bolingbroke, GA exit, out of nowhere, she saw a thin yellow hound, obviously a "Mama Dog", on the edge of the road, eating some unidentifiable trash, evidently thrown from a passing car. When the traveler arrived home, she emailed USAP:
"Driving home from Florida to Atlanta tonight, I saw a smallish, yellow hound-type dog in the middle of nowhere. It was approx. 2+ miles before the Bolingbroke sign right before the 475-75 split. She was eating garbage (not edible garbage) on the shoulder of 475, and shied away from me when I got out and tried to approach her. She is either pregnant or nursing because her belly and nipples are hanging way way down. I left an open can of cat food on the ground for her as she is starving--you can see her backbone. This poor girl has beautiful, sad hound eyes, and looks like she's been on her own a while.
Unfortunately, I had to leave, knowing that she and her puppies probably won't survive out there in the woods. Since I live pretty far away, I won't be able to go back again. But if there's anyone out there" please go look for her.She probably has puppies stashed up there in the woods. I know there are good rescuers everywhere, so I'm hoping someone will respond. If you catch a look at her, those sweet eyes will haunt you.
Here's a map that gives a general idea of where she was spotted. Since I don't know the area, I'm sure it's not the best. All I can say is that shortly after getting back onto the highway, I saw the Bolingbroke sign, and then, the split back onto 75-Atlanta." link to map marking spot: http://i76.photobucket.com/albums
With that scant information, USAP members, who are scattered across the USA, started contacting animal rescue groups, regional animal control, law enforcement agencies, and just about anyone who could possibly use Alex's map to locate "Mama Dog". To spur absolutely unfamiliar people in nearby cities to go out and search in an unincorporated, rural area - in freezing rain - for one little hound dog, who may, or may not have starving puppies stashed in the woods, was more than a shot in the dark. Nevertheless, the eyes of this dog, described by the traveler, haunted each emailer and disallowed him or her to forget and desert the rescue.
All About Animals, an animal rescue group in Macon, alerted fellow rescuers. Individuals - for example, Denise Ippolito, an experienced animal rescuer - spread the word upon receiving the alert. Ippolito did not hesitate to go search on her own, which she did for four days straight, covering nooks and crannies, ditches and the thick woods. She stated that she would not give up, and she didn't.
Out of the blue, after a number of regretful emails submitting tales of unsuccessful searches, Save A Pet, Inc., Forsyth, GA, sent word - a gift - on December 30th:
"Wonderful news! Jari Green from Save a Pet in Forsyth, GA says one of their volunteers just found 6 puppies on the highway in the area where "Mama Dog" was first spotted. The puppies are now in the care of Save A Pet Inc., and will be taken to Vet tomorrow. We will keep looking for "Mama". At least maybe the puppies have been found."
Are these THE puppies of "Mama Dog". No one could know for sure. But, they are puppies in need, and are safe. Did "Mama Dog" move her puppies nearer to the highway where the good Samaritan saw her? Did "Mama Dog" know that one heartfelt plea sent over the elusive waves of the Internet could inspire human beings to save one dog, and undetermined puppies?
If you doubt the authenticity of this Christmas Past story, the emails sent to and fro, to points unbeknownst to the senders, from one passionate animal advocate to another, are available for proof. If you demand verification, contact Save A Pet, Inc. (and adopt a puppy), or email the author, if you desire to read many documented hours, - days and nights of pleas for ONE dog's life.
While you are reading, the search continues for "Mama Dog", and please don't say it's a hopeless endeavor. Though the woods are deep and the shadows are dark, these rescuers in Georgia hold six puppies in their arms, and into the light.
One By One, A Christmas Rescue VIDEO: