At 5:30 in the morning I was awakened by a phone call. Adam was calling from his car, parked on the street in front of our apartment. “There are five puppies out here who are starving. They’re scrounging for food and I don’t know what to do.” I looked out the window and could see the poor things scrambling around in the 35 degree early morning. The puppies were huddled around a pile of recycling someone had likely put out the night before. I told him I’d look online and the two of us set about looking for answers. Baltimore’s animal control didn’t open until 6am. Would they be safe there or did we need to call a rescue shelter? Adam stayed in the car and I watched through the window to keep an eye on them. By the time we got through to animal control, they said it would be a two hour wait. And the important part: we needed to find a place to keep them until then.
At this point the puppies looked like they were ready to wander off down the alley. We needed some way to keep their attention. Adam quickly drove to a nearby store and bought some dog food. We didn’t want to feed them too much, since it was clear they were malnourished and we didn’t want to make them sick. To be safe, Adam began to feed them from the car window (we didn’t know how friendly they would be). Only one of the puppies took the bait at first, but slowly another started to catch on, too. Two hours was going to be a long time.
By 7am, other people passing by had stopped to help. The puppies seemed friendly so Adam got out of the car and I came out to help. Someone who works in the apartment building brought out a giant cart, and one by one we loaded the puppies into the cart. Some were shy, but none of them resisted being picked up. We had blankets, but it was still too cold outside – they were shivering.
With a group of neighbors and apartment staff, we wheeled the puppy cart into the basement and found a mostly-empty electrical room. We cleaned it out a bit and make sure it was safe before we let them out of the cart. Our neighbor brought some water and chew toys she had in her apartment from a previous pet. Before we knew it, the whole office staff knew about the puppies and came by to take a look. Ooohs and aaahs from all. “They’re so cute!” Within fifteen minutes they were all huddled together, asleep. So what did we do with them now?
The building manager and staff were incredibly sweet and insisted that we could find loving homes for them – we wouldn’t need to send them to a shelter. Besides, who would find them there? They were all really sweet and cuddly so we began posting on Facebook and calling family and friends. Now that they were safe, warm, and all in one place we could take a deep breath. The puppies could stay at the apartment complex over the weekend or until we found good homes for them.
Well, guess what? Within just a few hours, the office staff had found five people with enough kindness to open their hearts and homes to these sweet little puppies. It turns out this was a good day for them after all. I love a happy ending.