After Rescuers Took In This Broken Mama Dog, She Led Them On A Desperate Search To Find Her Babies

When rescuers found Vera the dog wandering around a local market, she had obviously seen better days. Not only was she emaciated, but she appeared to have a broken leg. Plus, it turned out the pooch was hiding a huge and somewhat heartbreaking secret. And her story would go to show that a mother’s love knows no bounds.

In January 2017, Lianne Powell was out running errands in the Spanish town of Vera. It was a Saturday afternoon, so the psychologist decided to visit the town’s market place. But her carefree shopping spree soon took a more serious turn.

On that day, you see, Powell came across a stray dog. Heartbreakingly, the greyhound was severely malnourished. Powell could even see the bones in pooch’s spine, ribs and hips, for instance. And, on top of everything, the canine appeared to have an injured leg.

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Naturally, the harrowing sight broke Powell’s heart. So, the good Samaritan decided that she would help the dog. And she knew who she could count on: her friend Ellen Sobry, a local vet.

So, after capturing the dog, Powell took her straight to Sobry’s clinic. Once there, vets confirmed that the poor pooch had suffered a broken leg. Then, Sobry’s team noticed something else. The malnourished dog was producing milk.

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Sobry believed that the stray had recently given birth to a litter. But where were the puppies now? It was likely the dogs were too young to fend for themselves, so the vet launched an urgent search-and-rescue mission. It was, quite literally, a race against time!

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Sobry and Powell named the dog Vera. And once they had her leg stabilized, the group returned to the spot where Powell found her. What happened next was simply incredible: a determined Vera began to lead the two women away from the market.

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At first, the women weren’t sure if Vera had an end place in sight. Powell and Sobry looked on in amazement as the injured pooch limped along dirt tracks and open fields. But after a while, it became clear that the dog was on a very important mission.

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“She had a broken leg, was bleeding from the back end and I saw she had milk, so I thought, ‘Well where are the puppies?’” Sobry recalled in January 2017. “We put a collar and long lead on her and took her back to the market. Then we just followed her for about (1.8 miles) – she knew where she was going.”

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Then, after they’d covered almost two miles of land, Vera was reunited with her puppies. “She led us to them, it was incredible. I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Sobry added.

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Vera had led the women into the countryside outside of town, where they found an abandoned car. The vehicle’s back windows were missing and had been covered up with cardboard. Nevertheless, it was here, in this makeshift den, that the rescuers found ten little puppies.

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“There in the back were ten beautiful, fat little healthy puppies,” Powell explained. “Needless to say there were tears all round. In the state she was in, the fact she managed to fend for herself and care for ten pups is nothing short of astonishing.”

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Sobry and Powell transported Vera and her adorable litter back to the clinic. The tired mom was going to need to recover fully before she’d be able to go up for adoption. So, in the meantime, the veterinarian contacted Ibizan Hound Rescue, which works to find strays homes.

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In fact, the non-profit organization specializes in the rescue and re-homing of Spanish hunting dogs. In Spain, greyhounds are often dumped on the streets at the end of the hunting season. During winter, owners sadly often deem the dogs useless.

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Indeed, some estimates put the number of greyhounds abandoned each year at 50,000. In some cases, owners have even been known to slaughter the dogs once they have served their use. So, in some respects, Vera and her pups had escaped a potentially awful fate.

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Thankfully, the dogs were now in the best possible hands and their futures looked a lot brighter. “Vera and her puppies are doing fantastic and they are all healthy,” Sobry explained. “Her broken leg was fresh, but we don’t really know what happened, she could have been hit by a car, but she had no other wounds, maybe someone kicked her but we just don’t know – it was a clean break.”

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“Now she is recovering great,” the vet added. “The only thing she has to worry about now is eating, feeding her puppies and sleeping. She’s a little bit timid, but she’s not too scared.” And Vera’s fans, naturally, welcomed the positive news.

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Indeed, Vera’s display of motherly devotion seemed to have touched hearts across the world. A video of her puppies’ rescue, for example, has since received 1,000 reactions on Facebook. Moreover, her heartwarming story has been picked up by new outlets across Europe.

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In late January 2017, Ibizan Hound Rescue posted another update about Vera and her pups. Writing on Facebook, the shelter revealed that Vera was a loving mom to six girl pups and four boys. And, they were pleased to announce, all of them were “doing well.”

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So, with any luck, it won’t take long for Vera and her puppies to get adopted. At this point, it’s unknown if the shelter will make efforts to keep some of them together. But, no matter what happens, their story is one that shows just how strong a mother’s bond can be.

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Heartbreakingly, it’s not uncommon for puppies to become separated from their mothers once they’re old enough to be adopted. Most of the time, the momma dog won’t get to see her litter ever again. That’s not what happened to this little pooch, though. And when the little fur babies came back, her reaction was just incredible.

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This story begins, however, with Rachael Sylvester, the U.K.-born founder of a not-for-profit South Africa-based organization called Sidewalk Specials. Strangely, though, Sylvester originally moved to Cape Town to further her acting career. But she found the desperate struggle of the city’s abandoned animals heartbreaking, and it changed the course of her life.

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Indeed, she initially created a rescue dog foster program in 2014, and two years later she registered the concept officially as the Sidewalk Specials charity. Sylvester’s work, however, isn’t based in any one place; instead she uses several foster homes to house rescued dogs directly. What’s more, through word of mouth among the South African markets and social media, she often has plenty of foster parents available to house dogs taken straight off the street or from death row in kennels.

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“Most of my rescues are straight from the streets, or called into me by vets who would otherwise have no option but to euthanize,” Sylvester wrote on GoFundMe. “We have been able to help dogs who would normally have been destroyed [such as] pit bulls, sick dogs, fighting dogs and old dogs.”

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In June 2016, Sylvester was sent a disturbing text message that oozed concern and desperation. It informed her that a litter of puppies and their mom were in bad health and in need of rescue. Something, of course, had to be done.

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Like a true rescue hero, Sylvester answered the call and made her way to the given address. Later, it became apparent that the text was from a worried neighbor concerned about the condition of the dogs. But the owners of the canines were less than happy to see Sidewalk Specials on their doorstep.

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However, the owners did finally consent to Sidewalk Specials’ request for the dachshund-mixed puppies, but refused to hand over the nursing mom. The rescue team agreed because they had not yet seen the physical state of the puppies, and they therefore wondered, “How bad can it be?” In fact, it would only get worse…

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Indeed, it got worse the moment that the owners handed over seven puppies. Indeed, as soon as the rescuers saw the condition of the puppies, they knew that they would need to find a way to rescue the mom as well.

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The puppies, of course, were suffering from a bad case of neglect. Sidewalk Specials described them in a YouTube video as “sick, flea- and worm-riddled puppies, underfed and weak.” The caring neighbor who made the rescue call, then, had just saved these pups’ lives.

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Even in better care, however, the pups seemed to be “missing their mommy,” Sidewalk Specials reported. And after learning just how poorly the puppies were, Sylvester knew that their mom was probably living on borrowed time. Still, with the owner unwilling to cooperate, things were going to get complicated.

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“There[’re] times when dogs are rescued, then there’re times when they have to be confiscated,” Sidewalk Specials wrote on their website. “Sometimes noses are put out of joint – our job, however, is to put the dogs’ well-being first, the humans… well, they should know better!”

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The neighbor again texted the team pleading that the mom’s condition had gotten worse without her pups. Thankfully, after some convincing, the team managed to get the owners’ permission to give up the mamma pooch into Sidewalk Specials’ care. They received the mamma dog just in time.

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Certainly, the mama dog, a dachshund mix like her pups, was painfully thin, her ribs were clearly visible, and she was malnourished and dehydrated. Her rescuers “rushed her to Vet Point [where] she was given a 50/50 chance of survival.”

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“She spent the day on a drip… then we had a surprise for her,” Sidewalk Specials wrote on their video. Both the mamma and her puppies had showed signs of depression from their separation, and the moment that the mother dog saw her puppies was heart-melting.

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Indeed, you can feel the relief on the dog’s face when she realizes that not only are she and her babies safe, but they are also together again. The pups, moreover, couldn’t wait to see her: within seconds, she was mobbed by all seven of her beautiful puppies, and she covered them with kisses.

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Later, thanks to funding from Break The Loop, the whole canine family were dewormed and given the treatment that they needed to start a new life free of neglect. What’s more, Mommy and pups spent their recuperation time in a foster home where they could get their strength back and stay together.

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In a caring and safe environment, the dogs grew stronger and made a full recovery. They even made some unexpected friends and learned how to socialize outside their family.

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When they were finally in fighting-fit form, then, the rescued tykes began to find new human owners. Unfortunately, adopting out all eight dogs to the same family would have been a near-impossible task, but at least some of the pups managed to find their furr-ever homes together.

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Some of the furbabies, though, were still looking for loving families at the time of Sidewalk Specials’ video, including the mamma dog. Hopefully, however, they will soon find their special humans to give them all the love they truly deserve.

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Thanks to Sidewalk Specials, one of few pro-life shelters in Cape Town, this furry family has a second chance at a life filled with love. You can find out more about this amazing charity at their website.

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