A team of rescuers originally summoned to pick up three huskies from an abandoned property got a surprise when they found eight puppies.
The Missouri-based Rescue One was called out to an address in Ozark by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, who alerted the group to the dogs that needed rescuing from the building, which looked to be in a state of disrepair per a now-viral video.
Stephanie Shelton, executive director from Rescue One, told Newsweek they were informed of the situation last Tuesday after sheriffs were unable to locate the owners.
Shelton said the authorities received a call about two male huskies eating a neighbor’s chickens, so the rescue team headed to the property the next day.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) the reasons most owners rehomed their animals are “pet problems,” defined as “problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldn’t handle.” Some 47 percent of dogs are rehomed for these reasons.
Using estimated data from 2019, the ASPCA stated that each year around 6.3 million animals enter shelters—roughly 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats.
Each year, about 390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats are euthanized, the ASPCA said, but thankfully around 2 million dogs and 2.1 million cats are rehomed.
An estimated 710,000 dogs and 100,000 cats are returned to their original owners.
Recalling the rescue, Shelton said: “When pulling into the driveway, the two male huskies greeted us and were loaded into our van.
“The property was very overgrown and it was obvious no one had been there for some time. A deputy was on scene and we saw the mama dog through the window of the home.
“With our slip lead ready, we opened the door and she ran out. Our volunteer quickly shut the door behind the mom and yelled ‘puppies!’
“We loaded up mom and got another crate out of the van. When we opened the door again, eight adorable puppies came running to the door. They are 6-7 weeks old.
“The home was destroyed and covered in feces. The dogs had no food andwater and were covered in fleas. Surprisingly everyone was pretty healthy otherwise.”
Corporal Thomas Buchness from the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, who is handling the case, told Newsweek: “Currently charges are pending and will be submitted as the investigation is ongoing.”
The office confirmed they contacted Rescue One following the initial complaint by a neighbor about two of the huskies.
Buchness attended the address on Wednesday with Rescue One, and found the 11 dogs “inside the abandoned residence.” No arrests have been made at this time.
Shelton confirmed all the puppies had a bath and everyone was given food and water, and the mom and her litter have been transferred with adoption applications already in place for when they’re ready.
The two males, Mongoose and Badger, will be adopted when they’re prepared via the rescue’s partner organization, Unleashed Pet Rescue.
A TikTok clip captured the moment the team opens up the door to be greeted by the eight inquisitive faces, as the curious pups come bounding over to greet their rescuers.
“Whoa! What’s eight more?” according to the caption on the clip, which was shared on the rescue’s TikTok page.
Since being shared last week, the video has amassed more than 8 million views with a voice-over saying: “When you go out to rescue three abandoned adult huskies and open the door and find this.”
The exterior and interior of the house are covered in trash, with a mattress seen on the floor, as the woman in the video notes there’s “poop” everywhere.
A longer post on the rescue’s Facebook said: “We got a surprise when we just opened the door. All puppies and 3 adults rescued and charges filed. Sorry for poor video quality, we are out in the sticks!”
After the original TikTok video blew up, the team shared a follow-up clip on Saturday of the husky puppies. “Update—All the huskies are doing great!” per the caption.
The chart below, provided by Statista, shows popular dog breeds in the U.S.
You will find more infographics at Statista
Another Facebook post shared more details about the mother dog, alongside a trio of photos, which was liked more than 1,000 times.
“Update—We were so overwhelmed by the surprise puppies the other day, we forgot about the adults—mom and two males. Everyone is doing great and settling in!” the post, shared on Friday, said.
People gushed over the good job the mom did with such a large litter, as Katiebatiefofatie commented on the viral TikTok video: “Mama dogs did such a good job taking care of them in such a terrible place.”
Dog & Cat Foster Mom wrote: “Way to go mama husky. So many horrible ways this could have ended.”
User Jayy noted: “They’re so big. Mama did her job but I bet she’s in rough shape. That’s a lot of babies to be abandoned with.”
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