The people who live in Darrington, Washington, in the Cascade Mountains, are used to stray dogs being dumped in their rural neighborhoods. So when a black lab mix showed up in April of this year, they weren’t surprised.
The dog’s presence slowly crept into their daily conversations and they started to call her Mo. Mo sat on top of "sand hill" watching the cars pass on Highway 530. That’s where she was originally dumped in April, and the people in town knew that she was waiting for her family to return.
Two local women took pity on her and brought food out daily, but Mo never allowed them to get close. In August, she disappeared, leaving folks to wonder her fate. A month later, she appeared hungry, and very pregnant.
Her benefactors tried tirelessly to find someone to help her. The county animal control officer was unable to respond because Mo was an "uncontained stray" and she wouldn’t let anyone come within 10 feet of her. After exhausting all options, the women sent out a media release via e-mail asking for help.
On September 13, 2004, the media release found its way to PAWS and the staff person who responds to reports of animal cruelty and neglect. With our Animal Cruelty Report Line: 425.787.2500 x861, PAWS offers a unique service to the local community—helping people learn how to intervene on behalf of animals who are being abused or neglected and providing a valuable resource for knowing who else to call in these types of situations.
PAWS did not have the resources or authority to trap Mo, but she needed help. We had to find someone near Darrington to assist with this difficult and delicate rescue. The first person that came to mind was Judy Woods, the Director of Pig’s Peace Sanctuary in Arlington. Granted, Judy works mainly with pigs, but if she could catch a wild pig, we knew she could catch a wary and pregnant dog. Judy was on the case as soon as PAWS called her.
After obtaining a large humane trap, Judy and the two women who had been feeding Mo began a vigil in the woods off Highway 530, patiently waiting for Mo to get hungry enough to enter the trap. Finally, late one night, Mo was caught. The women placed her on a lead and Mo, gratefully it seemed, led them on a long, dark walk through the trees to a carefully made den with 11 puppies inside.
Pig’s Peace Sanctuary is now caring for and raising the puppies and providing Mo (now named Sadie) with a permanent home. NOAH (Northwest Organization for Animal Help) will soon spay and neuter the dogs for free. PAWS, who initiated the successful rescue, will help find loving homes for all the pups. The happy ending to this tale is due to the concern of a couple of people, just like you, who took the time to reach out to help a lonely dog who waited in vain for her guardians to return.
Please don't be a silent witness to a forsaken dog. For more information on what you can do in situations like these, contact PAWS at 425-787-2500 x800 and request our educational brochure, "Animal Neglect is Everyone’s Business."