Despite the choices available in such a situation, a shocking number of people still ultimately decide to abandon puppies, some clearly in hopes that they’ll be alright, while others do so without a hint of concern for their well-being.
The person who abandoned six pups in the woods in Texas unfortunately belongs in the latter category. Not only were they left in a sealed box where they starved for days on end before being found, but the message written on side of that box was shocking, and left no room for interpretation. It read simply, “Shoot me.”
After making a few phone calls, the woman got in touch with Karen Rene’e, a volunteer with The Underdog Project, an organization that provides medical care to stray and neglected dogs in the Dallas area. Karen met her right away and collected the sick puppies.
Karen was relieved she got the puppies in time because the husband of the woman from whom she collected them was an avid hunter and his wife had to do a lot of convincing to get him not to kill the poor little things.
The initial vet checkup showed that they were about a month old and all of them were extremely malnourished with various injuries and illnesses. One had an infected bite on her face, while another’s tail had been bitten almost all the way through.
Because they’d been so strong through all the turmoil they’d experienced in their short lives, Karen named them all after Greek gods: Aries, Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, Atlas, and the smallest, Hera, who was named for the queen of the gods. Although they were safe, things quickly went south for the puppies…
Three of the puppies, Athena, Aphrodite, and Aries soon had full-blown coccidia infections, and had to be rushed to a veterinary hospital. Unfortunately, Athena and Aphrodite didn’t make it, but Aries managed to pull through.
Aries returned to live with Karen and his siblings, but after his brush with death, he became a much more subdued dog and was far less rambunctious than the others. Karen didn’t mind, given that she had her hands pretty full!
Karen was quite busy with all the puppies, but the deaths of Athena and Aphrodite still got to her. It was the first time any of the dogs she’d fostered ever passed away, and their passing strengthened her resolve to ensure that the rest of them stayed safe and happy.
The remaining puppies continued to grow healthier and bigger, and soon enough they had become quite the family. The boys were energetic and loved to play, while Hera became more of a lap dog, content to just cuddle.
They also grew very attached to Karen’s daughter Blakeleigh, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is blind. She’s very “hands on” with the dogs, and Karen thinks that’s contributed to them considering her a sort of mother figure!
Karen feels closest to Hera, who remains the smallest of the bunch. She discovered fairly early on that the pup was blind in one eye, and has always felt an extra duty to look out for the tiny dog.
These days, the pups are all healthy and strong but in need of forever homes. While Karen wishes she could keep them all, she realizes that doing so would prevent her from fostering other dogs who need it more now. She’s confident, however, that they’ll all find wonderful families!
Thank goodness they’re okay after everything they went through in those first months of their lives! If you’re interested in adopting one of these precious pups, you can fill out an application here.