OAKHAVEN, TN (localmemphis.com) - Saved by chance, rescued by our soldiers. One little family is extremely lucky tonight, thanks to members of the 1174th Transporation Company of the Tennessee Army National Guard.
They discovered a pregnant dog in the middle of giving birth Tuesday. She had been locked inside a metal storageunits for days. Several members rushed to help the mother and her puppies.
It's a miracle she and her litter are still alive. The mother was living without any food, water or air conditioning.
She's been named Gracie.
"Gracie because by the grace of God she was saved," said Sgt. Sharmel Jones. Jones was one of the guard members who stumbled upon her.
"We happened to be cleaning out our Conex because we're about to leave and go on a mission. It just so happened when we opened it up we heard something crying," Jones said.
Gracie was found in one of the metal buildings where they store equipment. "It's very hot in there."
They have no idea how she accidentally got in there or how long she was trapped or how she survived. She was severely dehydrated, had not eaten in days, and in labor. She had three puppies and more were on the way.
"We called all around Memphis looking for someone to take them," Sgt. Jones said.
The Tunica Humane Society came to the rescue, along with vets at Stateline Animal Clinic in Southaven.
"She's so tough," said Dr. Lisa Godfrey-VanNostrand.
Despite being 15 pounds underweight and extremely weak, Dr. Godfrey-VanNostrand said the little dog likely stopped her labor to try and save her babies.
"Dogs have the ability to stop their labor to a degree if danger is present, so I think she may have felt that and she stopped," said Dr. Godfrey-VanNostrand.
Gracie ended up giving birth to ten puppies. Seven survived, which vets say is remarkable.
"Another day or two she wouldn't have made it," said Dr. Godfrey-VanNostrand.
"The best part about this story is, this morning come to find out, that wasn't even the Conex we were supposed to have been in," said Sgt. Jones. "We were in the wrong Conex at the right time."
Today, the pups are the talk of the armory. They've even started naming their little rescues.
"They actually have army names," Sgt. Jones said. "Armory, Hummer, Canon, Grenade, Captain, Lieutenant."
The puppies are going to a foster home right now. When they're ready to be adopted you can contact the Tunica Humane Society at (662) 363-1625.