When lifeguard Donna Lochmann pulled up to an abandoned home in St. Louis, Missouri, she expected to find an adult dog living alone on the property. The Good Samaritan who reported him to Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL) told him that the dog’s family had moved on and left him behind.
The house was certainly empty, and the dog stood alone in front of the house, but she was far from alone. After a few seconds, Mrs. Lochmann realized that two more pairs of eyes were watching her from behind the fence.
“There were two puppies that looked like they were between 6 and 8 weeks old,” said Lochmann, SRSL’s rescue manager.
Lochmann was able to get the mother dog into her car with ease, but catching the puppies proved a bit more difficult.
“There was a concrete patio on the other side of the fence that had been dug under it, and the pups kept going there,” Lochmann said. “That’s probably where they mostly stayed because it was safe.”
“The biggest really didn’t want me to take him out,” Lochmann said. “She kept biting me with her puppy teeth like razors, but I wasn’t giving up.”
To protect his hand, Lochmann grabbed a thick glove and thrust his hand into the opening once more. Eventually, she secured the frightened pup.
Ms Lochmann took the mum, whom she named Pumpkin Patch, and her two puppies, Eckert and Stuckmeyer, to the vet. Tests showed that all three dogs were in good health, so they were immediately placed in foster care.
Eckert and Stuckmeyer are currently being fostered together in the same home. According to Ms Lochmann, they are both still very frightened and need to be socialised. But their foster family is made up of friendly adult dogs, so they should get used to it quickly.
“The adult dogs play with the puppies and start showing them the ropes of the dog trade,” Ms Lochmann said.
Pumpkin Patch was also placed in foster care, where she constantly receives cuddles, lots of food and a warm bed to sleep in each night.
Pumpkin Patch and his puppies will be missed by the staff at Stray Rescue of St. Louis, but they are so happy that all three dogs are finally having the happy lives they deserve.
“They’re all in a house now and finding out what life is like in a house instead of surviving on the streets,” Lochmann said. “They are so much better now.”