RANCHO SANTA FE — Last month was a record-breaking one at Helen Woodward Animal Center.
Center staff and volunteers saw more pets adopted in June 2013 than any other June in its 40-year history. And while this summertime has brought the Center a reason to celebrate, the recent heat wave has also brought a reminder of the extraordinary dangers orphan pets can face in the dog days of summer. Six shepherd/terrier blend puppies are lucky survivors of the recent hot spell. The 4-week-old “Patriot Puppies,” named Glory, Justice, Freedom, Stars, Stripes and Valor arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center just in time to ring in Independence Day and celebrate a renewed chance at life, liberty and happiness.
June 28, the West Coast experienced a heat wave and on that very day in California City, six puppies, born less than 4 weeks earlier, were abandoned in a shopping cart outside a mall. The temperature had reached 107 degrees. Unable to climb out, and with no food or water, the puppies were left, quite literally, to cook to death. By the time they were found by a concerned passerby, the puppies were listless and unmoving.
“People seem to forget that the inside of a car is not the only dangerous place to leave a defenseless animal,” said Labeth Thompson, Inventory Manager at Helen Woodward Animal Center. “Any pet left outdoors with no shade or water is also at risk. Puppies, along with adult dogs that are older, large, overweight or on medication are at the highest risk of all.”
Fortunately, the puppies were rescued in the nick of time and provided the proper medical attention. They were brought to Helen Woodward Animal Center by a rescue partner July 2 and are now in the home of a loving Center Foster Family. Adoption staff reports that the puppies will be ready to find their own forever homes by the end of July.