Determined Rescuers Save Puppies from a Garbage Dump—and a Blizzard

Racing against time and frigid weather, rescuers spent hours digging to get four pups to safety in a "physically and emotionally draining" puppy rescue.

rescuing black furry puppy in a blizzard
Photo: Courtesy of CC RezQs Regina

Animal rescuing isn't always for the faint of heart. That's more than clear to Stephanie Senger, foster coordinator at CC RezQs Regina. When she drove an hour and 40 minutes from the organization's home base near Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, to a snow-covered garbage dump, she knew she was in for a challenge.

Senger's organization had received a call alerting them that puppies had been spotted at this particular dump. A good Samaritan had been feeding the little guys, but a dump isn't a good place to ride out a Canadian winter. And so Senger found herself driving through not-so-great January weather conditions to see if she could locate the pups and get them to a better situation.

As the rescuers show in this video, the dump itself was huge, and snow was coming down to blot out any paw prints the puppy rescue crew might have otherwise been able to follow. They struggled to find any leads on where the dogs were hiding.

rescuers search for puppies in dump during blizzard
Courtesy of CC RezQs Regina

But in a stroke of luck, they spotted one of the pups scrambling in the brush, its dark, fuzzy fur standing out from the white snow.

"She came out of a den, like a flat-bed trailer sunk into the ground, covered in snow and covered by trees," Senger tells Daily Paws. "This was one of the hardest rescues I've ever done in seven years, emotionally and physically. We had to dig out snow, and dismantle pieces of sheet metal very carefully so it didn't collapse on puppies."

One by one they pulled the puppies out, and after hours of searching, digging, breaking apart rusty sheet metal and one extra visit the next day, they had all four puppies back at the shelter, safe and sound. And while a snowy day at the dump searching for puppies might sound like a unique and tough situation, for these rescuers, it's business as usual.

"Those situations are common, it's really hard for us. I'd been to that dump more than once and have returned since," Senger says. It's impossible to know exactly what brought these puppies to that spot, she says. There's a chance they were dumped, or that a mother dog had them there and was picked up separately from her puppies. They were approximately 8 weeks old when they were rescued.

Luckily the puppies, thought to be a mix between a Great Pyrenees and a shepherd, are happy and healthy today. Two of the four have been adopted. One pup, Lizzy, is up for adoption, and the biggest of the bunch is expected to be cleared for adoption soon. With those sweet faces (and look at that fluff!) we can only imagine their search for a forever home will be over soon.

woman holding dog she rescued from a dump as a puppy
Courtesy of Les and Jesyka Chelle
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