When eight 5-week-old puppies were found in a cardboard box among trash on a street in a southern Missouri town, a Monroe County animal shelter stepped up to rescue the puppies and find them safe homes.
A volunteer from Helping Strays in Columbia, which works throughout southern Missouri and Southern Illinois, caught wind of the story on Facebook when animal control officers from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, posted a plea for help in rescuing the puppies on Wednesday.
By that time, Poplar Bluff police had located the puppies’ mother and one other puppy from the litter, and had arrested a man — Daryl Scarlet, of Missouri — in connection with their abandonment.
Helping Strays volunteers asked shelter director Bill Dahlkamp if they could take the dogs in and find them a foster home.
“Luckily we have a great volunteer base,” Dahlkamp said on Wednesday. “A couple of them stepped up and will go down to Poplar Bluff (on Thursday morning) to pick up the animals. I don’t think the person who threw them away had any intent of them surviving.”
According to Dahlkamp, the puppies and their mother are malnourished, and the puppies were still at a nursing age.
This kind of situation is typical for employees and volunteers at Helping Strays.
Dahlkamp said the shelter has already taken in 450 animals in the last eight months. Some come from hoarding and abuse situations, as well as abandonments. Helping Strays works with a network of shelters and animal-welfare organizations to bring rescue efforts to as many animals as they can.
“Even though we’re based in Monroe County, our scope reaches far beyond that,” he said. “When we hear about something and we’re able to get it, we will.”
For these pit bull-terrier mixes, Dahlkamp said they’ll be nursed back to health with supplements, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. After they reach 12 weeks old, the puppies should be available for adoption.
Dahlkamp said he’s happy that his volunteers found the Facebook post and their shelter was able to intervene.
“It just happened that all the players were in place for this situation to rescue these dogs,” he said.