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WOODLAWN — A normal day at Jeff Johnson Chevrolet turned into a rescue mission when employee Ray Laboube discovered a stray dog and her puppies searching for food in a nearby dumpster on May 5.
“We were all at work here, and all of a sudden around 11:30 a.m. these three female dogs ran through the garage with three puppies following behind them,” he told The Gazette.
Laboube had seen two of the dogs before, and he believed that they belonged to families who lived nearby. He quickly deduced that the puppies belonged to the third dog, and that she was having trouble feeding them.
“I could tell that [the mom and pups] were starving and had been neglected,” he said. “I see this a lot this time of year — people kicking dogs out because they got pregnant.”
The mom dove at the trash in the dumpster, while the puppies waited around it. The puppies had swollen bellies, which typically indicate worm infestation. “They were dirty, they had ticks on them… I think that they were trying to feed off of the mom, but she was dehydrated and couldn’t produce milk,” he said.
He started making calls to see about getting them into a shelter, and a representative from the Twin County Humane Society arrived to pick them up. “I fed [the puppies] as best I could, and gave them some water… but by the time anything happened, the mom had disappeared,” said Laboube.
The next day, mama returned for her puppies. “This time I was prepared. I had some food and water, some treats and a leash,” he said. He was able to lure her close enough to leash her and bring her inside. “She came straight to me and my truck whining because she wanted her babies. She knew they had been here yesterday.”
Fortunately, he was on his lunch break, and had enough time to leash her and bring her inside where there was air conditioning and a meal waiting for her. “She was pretty nervous and upset, but I got to spend some time with her and calm her down,” he said.
Laboube was fortunate enough to have a lot of experience with taking care of dogs. “My wife works at a vet’s office down in Floyd, and volunteers for a Humane Society,” he said. They are also fostering a 14-year-old hound.
“I’ve had dogs my whole life, and all of them were rescues.”
• The mother dog and her pups have been reunited, and are under the Twin County Humane Society’s care. For more information about them, or any other dogs that are available through the Humane Society, visit twincountyhumanesociety.org, or find them on Facebook.