When Krystle Woodward found out about a stray mama dog roaming the streets in Fowler, California, she made it her mission to save her. Betty Boop gave her a run for her money with numerous escapes, but eventually she was caught, and when Krystle took her to find her puppies, she led her to an abandoned farm house two miles away where they were alive and waiting.
Krystle and her husband Allen run Pinky Paws ResQ out of their home, so they provide for dogs in need with their own money and rely on the generosity of community members to help. In April, a few locals told her about Betty, and she asked people to let her know if they saw her. Even animal control had tried to catch her and failed, so Krystle knew a trap was necessary.
The first time she spotted Betty she tried to lure her with food, but the elusive lass took the open can and dashed. She had to get back to work, but a friend arrive with a trap and was able to snare Betty. Unfortunately, she bailed by the time Krystle got there.
“I knew she was trying to get back to her puppies,” she told Life With Dogs. “Thursday, April 13th I told my husband to be ready. I posted on Facebook again, asking for people to tell me if they see her.”
She was seen at the same place she had been trapped, so Krystle and Allen rushed there with the trap. The hungry mama was scavenging for food in trash bins, so hopefully she’d take the bait again. They set the trap and waited in their van, and eventually she was snared. They knew they had to act fast to move the crate she couldn’t get out of it again.
“We loaded her up in the van and headed home with happy hearts,” she said.
Later on, she took Betty to look for her puppies, but she just lay down. Next step was to go to the vet.
“I knew she was nursing. But sometimes people keep the mom and dump the puppies,” Krystle explained. “I needed to know if she had mastitis (inflammation in the mammary glands) – her boobies were hot.”
Betty was also breathing heavily, but X-rays ruled out pneumonia and showed that she had sustained an injury to her sternum in the past. She was constipated and put on de-wormers, and the doctor said she was indeed nursing.
“I went home and cried thinking of the puppies out there suffering and dying from starvation,” Krystle confessed.
The next day Betty got out of the crate while it was in the garage. She was put out in the backyard where she began climbing the chain link fence. It was evident that she was desperately trying to get back to her puppies. Krystle used vacation time and got home as soon as she could. They drove out to where Betty had been seen while she was pregnant; she looked out the window the whole way.
“She didn’t like the leash before. On Thursday I carried her everywhere (she was 48 pounds). All of a sudden Betty was walking on the leash with me. I played puppies crying on my phone she looked at me and cried. Then we headed on our way. She walked me 1.5 miles. She slowed down and took me to cross the street. Then when she got close looked at me and cried again, Krystle said.
“She took me into the vineyards to an abandoned farm house. She tried to take me under a tractor trailer but I didn’t want to lose her. So she took me around the other way. All while she was crying. She pushed the door open with her nose and as she got closer the puppies started crying. She went under the house. And I counted the puppies. She didn’t even growl at us. She trusted me.”
Now Betty is all smiles and is a “happy wiggle butt.” She’s a total sweetheart now that she and her puppies are all safe and well-cared for – no more worries.
“She likes to be separate from her pups because they now have teeth. But she does spend some time with them,” Krystle said.