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In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a litter of puppies recently emerged from a dire situation inside a drug house. The rescue operation was spearheaded by Tabitha Leslie, a compassionate 36-year-old resident, who has since taken one of the puppies, named Woody, under her care.
The harrowing circumstances surrounding the rescue were revealed by Leslie, who became involved through her connection to Chelsea Worley, the dedicated founder of the East Mountain Animal Companion Project. The rescue operation unfolded when a volunteer, prompted by an advertisement for the sale of “Australian Shepherd Puppies,” discovered the puppies in a meth-contaminated house.
“It is sad that people have drugs take over their lives. I understand that it can be so rough to be addicted to drugs, but to sell dogs for drugs, and to expose them to that kind of thing, is just sickening,” Leslie expressed.
The 6-week-old puppies faced hazardous conditions, were neglected, and deprived of essential care. A volunteer, using a burner phone to conceal their identity, visited the meth house after arranging to purchase one of the puppies. The distressing reality became apparent upon arrival, as the puppies exhibited signs of severe neglect, including pale gums and lethargy.
The hostile reception from the seller intensified concerns, prompting the volunteer to seek immediate intervention. One puppy was swiftly taken to the vet, and a plan was hatched to rescue the remaining puppies. Worley, undeterred by the seller’s demand for money, called 911 for a welfare check, leading to the successful rescue of all six puppies.
Shockingly, the extent of their suffering was revealed through medical examinations. “They all tested positive for meth,” said Leslie. Some displayed mild chemical burns, while others were covered in a tar-like substance. Despite the challenges, all puppies are on a path to recovery, undergoing vaccinations and regular monitoring for potential long-term health issues.
Woody, taken in by Leslie for foster care, faced a challenging first night. “Woody was in bad shape the first night. Chelsea had to administer fluids every two hours and change his diapers because he had diarrhea so bad,” Leslie recounted. Despite these initial hurdles, the puppies are now steadily progressing toward a healthier future.
We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!
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