Rescue of a lifetime: Stray dog and puppies inspire community
Jackie Kane calls it the rescue of her lifetime and one crazy adventure.
Several weeks ago, Kane came across a stray dog and, a day later, helped the mama dog track down her puppies in an abandoned house. Now, Kane and her friends are rallying around the canine and her litter of seven puppies to find each a forever home.
Kane said she was driving home one evening when she spotted a dog that was emaciated and had obviously been nursing. Dressed in heels and her work clothes, Kane grabbed some crackers from her car and attempted to coerce the dog to approach her. The dog walked up to Kane, took the crackers and let Kane pick her up. Kane placed her in her back seat and headed to the vet.
Covered in fleas and ticks but heart worm negative, the vet told Kane the dog, which she named Reyna, was still lactating. Kane decided she needed to try to find the puppies and she did so with Reyna and the help of her friends Lisa Sommers and Amy Luarca.
They went back to where Reyna was first found. Reyna led them into woods thick with vines and thorns.
After 30 minutes, Kane was getting discouraged. Then Reyna focused in one direction and Kane followed behind. They approached a very old house, and that's when Reyna's tail started to wag very hard. Kane heard puppies crying.
“I thought, 'Oh my God, this is it. This is it,'” Kane said.
Kane described the house as a rundown, filthy shack. After Reyna fed them, the three women carefully picked up the puppies one by one and loaded them into Kane's vehicle. Reyna seemed quite pleased with the results of their endeavor, Kane said.
“You could tell she was the happiest dog in the world,” Kane said. “And for that dog to trust us, to have that kind of bond with us is beyond words.”
Once the story got out about Reyna and the quest for her puppies, people in the Aiken community wanted to help. Individuals donated funds to cover vet bills and food. An anonymous person made a generous donation for the puppies and Reyna to stay with Melissa Hartley, owner of Sindar Kennel and professional canine behavioral consultant. Hartley is working with them all on good behavior.
Reyna's litter consists of one boy and six girls. The boy, Tank, has already been spoken for but the rest, including Reyna, are unclaimed.
But Kane said she's going to be picky, as she wants to make sure these dogs land great homes. Kane is really hoping to find Reyna that special person who will “treat her like a queen.”
Over the last few weeks, Reyna has put on weight and her puppies are playful, little fluff balls of energy.
“It's really been an amazing journey,” Kane said. “Just to see how far the puppies have come along and Reyna, too, it's just one of the best feelings ever.”
The puppies will be ready for adoption on Sunday, and there is a fee of $50 that covers a SPCA low cost spay and neuter certificate, the puppies' first shots, deworming and their three weeks of behavioral training. An application can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010.