65 schnauzers, bottle baby puppies, porcupine attacks, and one brave Pyrenees: This is one of the CRAZIEST Rural Rescue Stories we have ever told.
Earlier this year, an unfortunate accident led to the death of a woman who owned 65 Schnauzers on her expansive rural property in the desert of northern Arizona. After the family placed almost all the animals, our Rural Rescue partner was called to rescue the last 8 dogs who were very shy and under socialized. She knew AAWL could take in the most difficult cases, as we had done for years through our partnership and Medical Miracle fund.
Our partner spent the day coaxing and catching the schnauzers running on the property, then drove them hundreds of miles to AAWL. As they arrived, our medical team discovered something very unusual about one of the females. She was producing milk, but there were no puppies on the transport! Our team immediately called our partner, who was not told of any puppies when she was rescuing the dogs. She called the family, who did not know one of the dogs was ever pregnant.
There were now puppies living in the desert by themselves, and their mom was hundreds of miles away.
Our Rural Rescue partner scoured the desert, under every bush, every dirt mound for signs of newborn puppies. It was like finding a needle in a haystack; until they saw a giant white dog standing in the distance. Great Pyrenees had been bred to watch over flocks while shepherds were away and were lauded for their courage and loyalty. This Pyrenees had lived with the schnauzers, keeping a watch over his “flock”. Our partner cautiously approached the notoriously shy dog and noticed 2 small bodies underneath him; the puppies had been found! His lifetime of loyalty drove him to protect the tiny, week-old puppies after their mom had left, watching over them until someone returned.
His actions were not without sacrifice. AAWL’s partner looked at his giant head as she scooped up the puppies, the Pyrenees was riddled with porcupine quills. While protecting the tiny puppies, he was struck by the tail of a porcupine, some embedded deep into his nose and mouth. Wrapping in a blanket the crying puppies who hadn’t eaten for days, she led their protector back to her car, knowing she had only one option.
With no bottle baby fosters or access to emergency medical care, she must get them all to AAWL immediately hundreds of miles away.
Our Rural Rescue partner drove hours to AAWL, knowing both cases needed immediate medical care. Our medical team swiftly went to work bottle feeding them their first meal in days. Their great protector was carried gently into the surgery suite where a team of vets and techs removed the deeply lodged porcupine quills. Even after hours of surgery, some spines were too embedded to remove without causing irreparable damage. “Spike” was given heavy antibiotics and pain medicine to help push the quills out of his face. A second surgery was scheduled days later, and all the quills were finally removed!
Unfortunately, when the puppies arrived at AAWL, Dorothy could no longer care for them and the chances of their survival begin to dwindle. They were placed into one of our most experienced bottle baby foster homes, an employee who has cared for the hardest of the bottle babies for years. All while raising three kids under 18! Her children are all passionate animal lovers and help feed the tiny babies every three hours (!) for weeks.
Today, Spike is recovering wonderfully and is making new friends! Spending years alone and selflessly throwing himself between those he loves and danger, he has now learned the kindness of strangers and will hopefully be ready for his own family soon.The puppies are growing exponentially, thanks to their amazing foster family, and have no medical issues from their fight for survival!
Spike has no idea he is a hero to those puppies, so we tell him every day.
Although this story may seem unique, our team works with 32 partners around the state to rescue animals like Spike, the Schnauzers, and these puppies every week. When you support Our Walk To Save Animals Nov 7th, you help us continue our lifesaving mission.