Saved from death; puppies left at a dumpster get a second chance

Published: Mar. 27, 2017 at 3:04 PM AKDT
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Seven newborn puppies, apparently left to die next to a dumpster in freezing cold weather, are getting a second chance.

The puppies were found last week, in two cardboard boxes, next to a garbage dumpster, on E 22nd Avenue.

Leeann Brewster and her boyfriend, Chism Henry, heard their whimpering, as they walked home from checking their mail. They found the mixed-breed pups in two cardboard boxes.

"We looked inside, and the first box had three puppies that were just scrambling to sit on each other to stay warm. And I was like, 'Chism, take the box!'" said Brewster. "Then the second box had four."

The couple took them to their home nearby.

"As soon as we got them into the house, they stopped crying instantly," said Henry. "We just put hats on them to keep them warm."

Then the couple took the pups to the Anchorage Animal Care & Control (AACC) right at closing time for the day. A staffer there took the puppies home.

"She took them home, and she fostered them and cared for them the first days of their lives," said Laura Atwood of AACC.

Vickie Young, who runs Polar Pug Rescue & Friends, took things from there. Now, she has been caring for the puppies around the clock.

"We did the medical that needed to be done - got them all stabilized over the weekend - and today I feel we're in a really good place with them right now," said Young. "They're all doing very well."

Young and the staff at AACC hope what happened with the puppies will send a message that there are options for people who have pets they can't care for.

"We call these guys our little 'dumpster divers,' because they were dumped," Young said. "But you don't have to dump dogs off to the side of the road. You don't have to throw litters of puppies away. There are resources out there to assist the community, when they can no longer take care of their animals."

AACC says the agency is a good starting point, if you need help with an unwanted pet.

"Our primary goal is to get those animals into adoptable homes," said Atwood. "That's why we partner with groups like Polar Pugs. That's why we have many foster parents. So for [animals] that need to be fostered and cared for outside of the shelter environment, until they can become adopted, we have the resources to do that."

Young added, "And we don't ask questions. Everybody's in their own place. We don't judge. We don't ask questions. We want what's best for the animals, so let us just take over."

The puppies, once they are big and healthy enough, will be offered for adoption at AACC.

To reach the shelter dispatcher, call (907) 343-8119.