The Lincoln 23April 1, 2020 | 6:38pm
The Lincoln 23
The situation was dire. There was a rural property filled with numerous dogs who needed help, and several of them were being shot. It’s amazing how quickly a situation can become unmanageable when dogs haven’t been spayed or neutered. We were tagged on Facebook with a plea for help, so our team jumped into action and immediately put a plan together. The plan included calling our friends at Frank Leta Acura/Frank Leta Honda and asked if we could borrow a van with no notice. Without hesitation, the General Manager Steve Brown said, “Of course! Can you come get it now? We want to help these dogs!”
The very next morning, we arrived at the property ready to start rescuing the dogs to safety. The woman who lives on the property came out to greet us and was surrounded by dogs. We knew they wouldn’t know how to walk on a leash, but our original plan was to leash them, one at a time, and put them into the travel crates. However, we soon realized that plan wasn’t going to work. The first dog showed fear as we put the lead around his neck, and that’s when all the other dogs started to attack him. We were able to quickly break up the fight and get him to safety, but we had to adjust our plan. There were so many dogs that they took on a pack mentality which means they would try to eliminate the weak pack members instantly.
Luckily, they were hungry and most were friendly, but they were all scared and under-socialized. We were able to separate the dogs, lure many into the crates using our secret weapon (Vienna sausages, of course!). We brought several traps, and that worked quickly for another pack in the back of the property and with the puppies. We moved as quickly as we could because we were warned some people in the area were not supportive of this rescue, and we felt threatened. An hour and a half later, we had 23 dogs and puppies loaded safely in the vans. There are still several dogs on the property, but local rescue groups are going to spay and neuter the remaining dogs.
It was a long drive home, but as we unloaded them one at a time in the clinic at Stray Rescue, we could see many of them had open wounds, tons of ticks, and swollen bellies.
The smallest puppy, Little Bit Lincoln, had labored breathing, so she received a thorough examination where it was discovered she has pneumonia. She is only 5 pounds whereas her siblings are 12-13 pounds. We took x-rays and knew she needed to see a cardiovascular specialist as well. We assumed she didn’t have long to live but reminded each other she wouldn’t die alone in the woods which brought us comfort. But after a specialist saw her this morning, they determined she actually has a diaphragmatic hernia which is treatable. Although this is great news, they said these types of hernias are brought on by trauma which means that more than likely this poor little puppy was probably struck with something. At $3,000 to $4,000, this is an expensive procedure, but we are thrilled it is treatable. We’re happy to have the opportunity to help this little puppy who will now have a chance to experience an entire lifetime of love as she deserves!
With 85% of the dogs rescued being female, we have helped stop many future litters from being born helpless and exposed on the property. We believe 3-4 of them are pregnant now and will be x-rayed later today. We’re sure most, if not all, will have heartworms and will need treatment.
Once everyone was unloaded, safe, and decompressing in their new apartments, we couldn’t help but let our emotions out as we burst into tears. We were dirty and exhausted, but utterly relieved. But it didn’t end there! We were full of gratitude to see a line of cars outside Stray Rescue waiting to speak with our foster team and wanting to help. Each car held a kind and patient family who truly felt empathy for these dogs and what they have been through. They didn’t mind the long wait times and were unbelievably helpful.
Several of the dogs are now in foster homes where they are learning what it’s like to feel safe and comfortable with nutritious food and soft beds. The others will need leash training and a bit more socialization before they can leave for foster or forever homes, and we are happy to give them that chance. We were greeted with tail wags of gratitude this morning, and we know they are excited to learn.
We hope everyone will flood Frank Leta Acura/Frank Leta Honda with messages of thanks. We are so grateful for their generosity and willingness to help on this rescue. By not hesitating to loan us the use of their van, we were able to bring so many more of these sweet souls to safety than we would have been able to otherwise!
If you want to help these dogs too, the best way to do that is through making a financial gift today. Little Bit Lincoln needs her emergency surgery, Natalya Lincoln, No Es Lincoln, and Sweet Mama Lincoln will be giving birth (maybe very soon!), two of the Lincoln kds are on antibiotics for open wounds, and we know many of them suffer from heartworms. They all received vaccinations and will be spayed and neutered.
Thank you for always believing in us, loving the dogs and cats we save, and helping us live true to our mission, particularly during these uncertain times we are all living in right now. We can’t turn these tragic stories into heartwarming tales without your big hearts.