Local animal rescue goes the extra mile

Grassroots Animal Rescue drove to Philadelphia Monday night to rescue a Newton County dog and her 10 puppies. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

A local animal rescue went out of its way to save a dog and her litter of puppies.

On Monday, Grassroots Animal Rescue co-directors Jessica Thompson and Amanda Williams answered a Newton County woman's call for help and drove to Philadelphia to take in 10 puppies and their mother. Now, they are asking for foster families to step up and take the puppies in when they are old enough to leave their mother.

"There are a lot of Facebook groups where people post dogs in need and this woman had been trying to get somebody since, I think, Friday to help," Thompson said. "I don't think there's anybody down there that could."

The puppies were born under a porch in Newton County. Williams got in contact with the woman who took them in and she and Thompson met her halfway to pick up the puppies.

"We got down there at about 7 p.m. and we thought there would be four puppies, but there are 10," Thompson said. "There are five girls, five boys, and they're nursing right now. They have teeth, but they aren't ready to leave their mama, yet."

Grassroots is a private, foster-based rescue in Oktibbeha County. Thompson said they are not bound by a geographic area like rescues that are partially funded by tax dollars.

"We try to go and help dogs that need our help regardless of where they are," Thompson said. "We do a lot of work in Oktibbeha and Webster County, but we've been all over."

The puppies are about five weeks old, and Grassroots Animal Rescue will give them to foster families once they are fully weened in one to two weeks. They are staying at Thompson's house until then.

Thompson said the dogs don't look like they will get big, and their mother will only be about 35 pounds once she is healthy and no longer nursing.

"There may be some hound and some beagle in her, and maybe some shepherd in some of the puppies because some of the puppies are kind of fuzzy," Thompson said. "The puppies are in all colors."

The puppies are currently being treated for worms, but that is the only health problem rescuers have seen. They will receive their vaccinations in a few weeks and foster families do not have to buy food or pay for veterinarian bills for their foster animals. Thompson said Grassroots covers all financial obligations.

Grassroots hopes to have foster families take in two to three puppies at a time.

"A lot of people foster five or six puppies," Thompson said. "Two is more reasonable. They play with each other and are sometimes easier to manage than just one."

When thinking of fostering, Thompson said the biggest doubt she hears people express is they fear they won't want to say goodbye to their foster animal when it finds its permanent home.

"People are nervous, they don't want to get attached, but it's worth it," Thompson said. "You're saving that dog and you're the reason that dog gets to live a happy life."