Have you seen all the puppies in rescue and ever wondered where they all come from? Puppies come from many places–shelters, owner surrenders and sometimes they even show up as strays! Many puppies come from shelters where people turn entire litters in. Even shelters realize that's not always the best idea since they harbor all kinds of diseases that can be fatal to puppies. Whenever they can, health-conscious shelters avoid having puppies dumped there. Shelter volunteers give rescue a heads up when they've been alerted to puppies being dropped off. This litter of six Pyr-mix pups (right) were scheduled to be dropped off at a county shelter in Virginia when a local rescue intervened and got them transferred to NGPR.
We've seem some extreme cases with shelter volunteers driving around with pregnant Pyr Moms who are about to give birth. In Sophie's case (left), the transporter didn't make it to the home of an accommodating rescue volunteer. With pups being born in the car in route, the vehicle headed to the nearest vet office where the pups were born. It's not unusual to see pups come off of Craig's List when backyard breeders have given up trying to sell them, sometimes putting rescuers in the the embarrassing position of having to bargin for them. Other pups have shown up at yard sales along with old furniture and miscellaneous brick-a-brac. People in the neighborhood have been known to tip rescue off with an anonymous phone call to ensure that pups don't end up in the wrong hands.
Perhaps the most challenging situations occur when pups are located under a building. Nursing Moms will hide the pups to try to keep them safe. Volunteers have crawled under trailers and people's houses and porches to round up entire litters of puppies. Puppies in one litter this summer had their feet and tails chewed on by rats. We also get puppy alerts on our 800 hot line number as well as emails and surrender forms from people who cannot care for unplanned litters.
Rescue puppies can come from almost anywhere and in the end, where the puppies come from is not as important as where they wind up. We are ever grateful to the puppy fosters who are among rescue's most valuable volunteers. They care for puppies day and night, bottle feed when necessary, nurse them through sickness and endure chewed-up shoes and the other hazards of puppy fostering until the day the puppies can be adopted. Fosters are sad to see them go but happy to know another litter has been saved and moved to caring furever homes.