While most folks were celebrating the holidays, in Edmonton, Alberta, one woman was still hard at work at the Whitecourt Homeless Animal Rescue Foundation.
On the evening of December 23, Tessa Lee received a call that would take over her holiday plans.
“We were contacted about the five puppies in distress on a private property 45 minutes west of Edmonton. All five puppies [were] severely emaciated and dehydrated,” Tessa Lee shared with The Dodo.
Lee was able to make it over to the property quickly and was able to access the property close to Alberta Beach. And despite the fact that there were other animals on said property, Lee was only allowed to rescue the five puppies.
The sweet little dogs were almost frozen to death due to the cold weather and while driving them home, Lee was not confident if they would be seeing the next day.
Lee understood the severity of the situation and was quick to problem solve.
“I assessed their hydration levels, and put them on heat packs while administering fluids subcutaneously,” Lee shared. “We relied on maple syrup to boost glucose levels and slowly began administering recovery wet dog food every two hours via feeding syringes.”
Lee’s family was unmoved upon learning how she would be spending her Christmas saving a pack of puppies.
“Our families have come to expect some special animal guests joining us for Christmas dinner, whether it is a litter of kittens, puppies or even a ‘bottle baby’ lamb,” Lee shared. “We find that this time of year many people are traveling to be with family and therefore more animals in distress are noticed and reported. Our phones are definitely never off during the Christmas season.”
Thanks to a cozy home and bottle-feeding, by December 24 – all but one puppy started to get better. A little girl who was given the name Ruby was the one pup who was having a difficult time standing herself up.
“She is holding on and beginning to perk up,” Lee shared in Facebook post via the WHARF’s page on Christmas Eve. “Keep her in your thoughts and we will update everyone on her after the holidays.”
Both Lee and Ruby on Christmas morning got exactly what they asked for — Ruby standing on all four paws.
“Merry Christmas everyone!! We have movement,” Lee shared on Facebook. “This puppy didn’t have the strength to lift her body up yesterday. She is drinking water and eating on her own now.”
Many shared their well-wishes on Lee’s post, along with plenty of folks offering to either foster or adopt Ruby. And while she is getting better, she is not out of the woods just yet.
“At this point, Ruby’s condition is touch and go, and she is under 24/7 monitoring with us,” Lee went on to share. “The other four seem to be holding fast, we will be keeping everyone updated on Ruby’s condition as time goes on.”
And while taking care of Ruby and her brothers and sisters was no easy task, Lee says it was worth it.
“Special cases such as these just require a huge dedication of time and effort, whether that’s waking up every two hours to feed them or monitoring alertness throughout the night,” Lee continued.
“Every animal deserves to be cared for and over the last decade we have done everything in our power to provide that to every animal that comes through our rescue.”
Lee is now confident that Ruby and her brothers and sisters will be ready for adoption in February if all stays as is. Lee also wants to share with everyone one piece of advice regarding animal care.
“We urge people that are considering bringing an animal into their families to ensure that they are able to afford to spay/neuter their animal so situations like this no longer happen,” Lee said.
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