Heroes rescue 5 puppies from drainpipe near busy road

By Heather Leah, WRAL multiplatform producerIn a miraculous story of determination, five puppies and their mother are being given a second chance at life. They were living in a storm drain on the side of a busy road – a highly risky living condition – before being rescued earlier this week.

While driving home from a lake trip, a woman saw the mother dog and her puppies run into the road. She called her sister, who volunteers for a local animal rescue called Second Chance Pet Adoptions, to find a way to help rescue the family of pups.

A tedious and difficult rescue

Second Chance Pet Adoptions called on doggy superhero Mark Dove, who is trained and certified in tracking and recovering lost animals, to help with the Great Puppy Rescue.

He was able to quickly retrieve one puppy, but the other four cowered in their storm drain – a dangerous location, especially with rain and floods in the forecast. 

The puppies were hiding out deep in the small drain, where no grown human could squeeze. To help encourage the puppies out of the long drain pipe, the rescuers crafted a 51 ft. pipe snake to gently nudge them out, according to an official from Second Chance Pet Adoptions.

Sadly, even once the puppies were safe, the mother dog was still on the loose in a dangerous area. Determined to save the mother and reunite her with her puppies in a new, safer life, the team returned another day, using one of the puppies to help draw the mother out.

“Against all odds, they were able to successfully find and rescue the mother the next day,” said Second Chance. “Leave no pup behind!”

Mark Dove: The superman of rescuing lost dogs

Dove’s Facebook page is cluttered with posts about lost dogs who need help, and desperate owners who want to be reunited with their best furry friend.

“I’m usually tagged on Facebook about 10-15 times weekly to help others with their missing pets,” said Dove.

Despite working a full-time job, Dove volunteers long days and nights, even camping out overnight to make sure lost dogs are rescued.

“I camp out while I have traps set from anywhere from 15- 24 hours to trap the lost dogs, once I have them tracked to a certain area,” said Dove.

Dove began his role as a superhero for dogs about three years ago, when he found two Chihuahua puppies in the road. He tracked a third Chihuahua for three days, thinking she was their mother – but she wasn’t. In this instance, he never found their mother, but he did meet a woman who taught him how to get trained and certified in tracking and saving lost dogs.

He said, “I have been hands on for three years now in the community – getting as many lost pets home as I can!” 

How are the puppies doing now?

Shana Shallenberg, who was also involved in the rescue, posted a follow-up video of one of the puppies on her social media, saying, “Take a look at this very good boy and what a little love can do!”

These puppies, she said, had likely never experienced human touch before. Several seemed wary of humans, but even the shy pups are coming around to their new life quickly.

“All five puppies and their mama are on their journey to a new life,” she wrote in the post, along with a sweet video of a happy puppy.

Thanks to the determination and care of the rescuers, the family of dogs are on their journey to a better life. Second Chance Pet Adoptions will ensure Mama and her puppies are all spayed/neutered, parasite-tested and treated, vaccinated, micro-chipped and put into loving foster homes until they’re ready for adoption.

Already, the puppies are being socialized by affectionate foster parents. From the playful video, these puppies look spunky and happy, and seem to be looking forward to their second chance at happiness, safety and life.

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