Rescue Ranch Is Called In To Help Save 17 Puppies From Vacant Building

In a recent article, I talked about how overwhelmed we’ve been with the number of unwanted puppies ending up in our care. Unfortunately, that trend seems to be holding. Last Thursday, Rescue Ranch was called in to help save 17 puppies from a vacant building in the Big Springs area.

Some good Samaritans notified us that they’d been feeding two strays from a neighboring lot and that there were puppies. They were concerned about the dogs’ welfare. Our Executive Director, John Golay, went out to evaluate the situation. Because the building is located on private property, he couldn’t enter to investigate without the help of law enforcement. He put in a call to Animal Control.

When John and the ACOs entered the dilapidated structure, they found an old camper trailer inside. The puppies were hiding underneath. Neglected and expecting, their moms had apparently chosen to whelp in this makeshift shelter. Now, they were nowhere in sight. Food was left out, just in case. Sure enough, the mothers reappeared on Friday. This was good news. The pups will do much better with their mothers to nurse and care for them. The adults will get the attention they need.

Rescuers were told to look for 18 puppies but only found 15 . Two more were recovered the next day, for a total of 17.  After several exhaustive searches, it became clear that either there was no 18th puppy, or it had perished.

Rescued dogs quarantined at the sanctuary

The dogs were transported to the safety of Rescue Ranch Sanctuary. They’re in pretty rough shape, but their physical condition should improve quickly in our care. Although technically still the County’s charges, they will probably be transferred to the ranch, unless another rescue can take them. We may be struggling with the volume, but County really has no facilities or resources to care for nursing mothers. The jury is out as to whether we’ll find foster homes for them once their quarantine is over.

We’ve named the golden-brown mom, Nutmeg, and the black and white one, Harlequin. Despite their different colored coats, we think they may be related. Both are probably less than two years old. Nutmeg did well, especially once she was reunited with her 10 puppies. Harlequin, though, was utterly shut down at first. Frozen.  Now, although she’s still wary, she’s nursing her seven pups and interacting more with her caretakers. Eventually, we expect them all to be available for adoption.


We need to work together and be part of the solution.

County is dealing with intake numbers that are double, even triple, last year’s. And Rescue Ranch is full to bursting with dogs of all ages. We definitely need more puppy fosters.  The current rate of in-take is not sustainable. Please spay/neuter your cats and dogs.

If you need help spay/neutering your dog, contact Rescue Ranch Alter Assistance Program (RRAAP).

If you suuport spay/neuter, please consider donating to RRAAP.

Learn about our foster program here.

By the way, we’ve just received a call about another eight puppies…