A few weeks ago, while trying to rescue an injured male dog from a vacant house in Memphis, I came across a nursing momma dog who was also taking refuge in the vacant house. Both dogs were skittish and wouldn’t let me close to them. But the momma dog saw me leave food every day and gradually began to trust me a little more. On Monday night, May 19 I was able to walk through the vacant house with 2 Memphis Police officers. I wanted to confirm if any pups were in the house before I tried to trap the momma dog, but I was not prepared for what I saw...
In the darkness of the basement, we found the only surviving puppy living next to her dead litter mates. As soon as I saw it all, I froze with fear. After all these years in rescue, I did not know what to do. The basement where they were living was beyond anything I could have imagined. The air was so heavy with death that we had to cover our faces with our shirts. I tried to determine the pup's age to see if she could be taken away from her momma. But I couldn't tell if her eyes were open yet (she may have kept her eyes shut from our flashlights because I don't think this pup had ever seen daylight). I honestly didn't know if she was old enough to be away from her momma, so I left the pup there. I was sick to my stomach with worry and guilt the entire night. So I went back first thing Tuesday morning to get the pup and trap the momma dog. I was holding on so tight to hope that the pup would survive one more night…and thankfully, she did :)
Early the next morning we were back at the vacant house. We crawled into the house, down into the basement and grabbed the pup. Next we set the trap and, within minutes, momma was back for her pup and went into the trap like she was ready to go! It was unreal how fast it all happened.
Momma "June" and her baby girl "Muffin" went straight to my vet clinic. June is approx. 1.5 years old, and unfortunately is heartworm positive. But other than that, she is recovering very well from a young life on the street. And she is so very sweet and gentle. Puppy Muffin is about 3-4 weeks old and, amazingly, in great condition. I’m amazed at how loving and calm June is. You can tell she is still exhausted and trying to figure things out, but she is so friendly, wags her tail when she sees her favorite vet tech, rolls over on her belly for rubs, is incredibly gentle with people and her pup, and is just a very kind, old soul.
Due to the recent holiday weekend, there was no space at the kennel to board June and Muffin. But luckily we were able to find them a short term foster home for a few days. Momma June and Muffin did SO well at the foster home that it’s hard to believe they were on the street less than 1 week ago. June enjoyed playing with the foster mom’s dog, lounging on the couch and even sleeping in her foster mom’s bed at night! It was as if she was someone’s dog before.
The holiday weekend went by too fast, and now they are back in boarding. I'm worried about Muffin being kenneled since she is so young and hasn’t had any vaccines yet; I’m afraid she could contract something. Ideally, I’d love to find a foster home for both June and Muffin (I have another young foster dog in my home currently, or else they would both be snuggling with me now on my couch). But, at the very least, I would be thankful for Muffin to find a foster home as she is now weaned and technically old enough to be separated from her momma.
At some point I also want to rescue the injured white male dog who I first set out to help. He looks like he is knocking on death's door…spine sticking out, open sores on his body, an injured back leg and God only knows what else is going on inside of him. I’ve been back every day to leave food and water. But it doesn’t appear to have been touched, and I haven’t seen him in over 1 week. So my priority remains on taking care of June and Muffin, and it is plain to see how grateful they are already.
This is one of those rescue efforts that I wasn’t sure how things would turn out… but I took a leap of faith and hoped for the best. If you are able to foster, even just temporarily, please contact me. If you would like to donate towards their care, please know that any amount is GREATLY appreciated. This is so urgent and I would be so grateful.
Lauren Ferrera [phone redacted]
DonationsSee top donations
- Judy Montgomery
- Nancy Leech
- Meghan Kunen
- Kate Spangenberg
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more