When rescuer Donna Lochmann pulled up to an abandoned home in St. Louis, Missouri, she expected to find one adult dog living alone on the property. The Good Samaritan who’d reported her to Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) told them that the dog’s family moved away and left her behind.
The house was certainly empty, and the dog was standing out front by herself, but she was far from alone. After a few seconds, Lochmann realized that there were two more sets of eyes watching her from behind the fence.
“There were two puppies that looked to be 6 to 8 weeks old,” Lochmann, SRSL’s chief life saving officer, told The Dodo.
Lochmann was able to get the mama dog into her car easily, but capturing the puppies proved to be a little more difficult.
“There was a concrete patio on the other side of the fence that had been dug out underneath, and the puppies kept going in there,” Lochmann said. “That’s probably where they were staying for the most part because it was safe.”
Lochmann stuck her arm underneath the patio and was able to grab the smaller pup after a few tries, but the bigger puppy objected.
“The bigger one really didn’t want me to pull her out,” Lochmann said. “She kept biting me with her razor-sharp puppy teeth, but I wasn’t giving up.”
To protect her hand, Lochmann grabbed a thick glove and stuck her hand into the opening one more time. Finally, she had the scared puppy secured.
Lochmann took the mama dog, whom she named Pumpkin Patch, and her two puppies, Eckert and Stuckmeyer, to the vet. Tests showed that all three dogs were healthy, so they were immediately placed into foster care.
Eckert and Stuckmeyer are currently being fostered together in the same home. Lochmann said that they are both still really scared and in need of socialization. But their foster family consists of friendly adult dogs, so they should come around quickly.
“The adult dogs are playing with the puppies and starting to show them the ropes of how to be a dog,” Lochmann said.
Pumpkin Patch has also gone to a foster home, where she gets constant cuddles, lots of food and a warm bed to sleep in every night.
Staff at Stray Rescue of St. Louis will miss Pumpkin Patch and her puppies, but they’re so happy that all three dogs are finally getting to live the happy lives they deserve.
“Everyone is in a home now and figuring out what life is like in a house instead of surviving on the street,” Lochmann said. “They’re doing so much better now.”