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Friday, August 3, 2012

Terrified three-month-old puppies rescued from storm drain after mother is killed in hit and run

By Victoria Wellman

Three tiny puppies were rescued from a storm drain when their mother was left for dead miles away in a hit and run.

Sydney, Mathilda and Gabriella were pulled to safety by Edald Hagar whose Los Angeles-based foster home, Hope For Paws, was alerted to the homeless family by another non-profit organisation, the Bill Foundation.

Staff there had received a call from two women who had been feeding and giving water to the abandoned pups for three months, but sadly, when Mr Hagar arrived on the scene, Gaia was already dead.

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Terrified: Three tiny puppies, Sydney, Mathilda and Gabriella, were rescued from a drain in the middle of nowhere, California, after their mother, Gaia, was killed in a hit and run

Hungry? Edald Hagar from Paws for Hope drove out to the drain and found all three puppies but no mother

Dumped on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere in the Californian scrub, a pregnant Gaia was hit by a car in an earlier accident that broke her leg.

Determined to survive for her litter, she gave birth to the three adorable babies in the drain and raised them for three months with the help of two well-meaning women who didn't know how to get help.

Who are you? Syndey and Gabriella guarding the hole where they lived with their mother Gaia, waiting for her return

Beware: Mathilda and Gabriella are suspicious of Mr Hagar who spent seven exhausting hours trying to lure them from their drain

Unable to get near enough Gaia to catch her they were reluctant to take the puppies and so did the best they could by feeding the dogs to make sure they survived.

When Mr Hagar was called by the Bill Foundation they struck a deal agreeing that he would pay for the medical bills and they would find the rescues a home.

Driving out of LA at 3am, the animal-loving Hope For Paws founder, arrived at the drain just before sunrise.

Brave: Mother Gaia had been dumped on the side of the road, pregnant and was hit by a car that broke her leg before she had the three puppies

Too late: Edald Hagar found Gaia miles down the road dead after being hit by a car and left

The puppies, who appear to be some kind of cattle dogs, were there but there was no sign of Gaia.

Mr Hagar detailed the account on his Flickr page, writing: 'When I arrived…I spotted the puppies right away, but I couldn't find the mom. I went to check on the pups, gave them some food to make an initial contact with them and kept watching my back to make sure the mom doesn't come behind me to defend her puppies.'

Gotcha! Sydney is the first to be caught after the cunning rescuer brings the body of their dead mother back and places it near the hole

Trust: Mathilda yaps and resists as Mr Hagar manages to get hold of her

Come on now: Gabriella proves the hardest to rescue, running back and forth between drain openings until finally he gets hold of her leg and pulls her slowly out

A passing truck stopped and informed the rescuer that Gaia had been hit by a car and left by the side of the road to die. The driver had been on his way back to his home to find a gun so he could put her out of his misery.

Mr Hagar took control of the situation, but when he found the mother she was already dead.

Early learning: Sydney plays with a toy for the first time as his siblings and he and they learn to trust humans at their temporary home at the Bill Foundation

Growing: The Bill Foundation posted a video of the puppies five days after their heroic rescue and they are already playing happily

'It was a feeling I can't really explain. It was like a punch in the gut,' he told The Huffington Post.

In a video of the moving account, Mr Hagar wrote: 'I told her I was sorry people did this. I promised her I would save her babies.'

Returning to the puppies though, Mr Hagar found himself faced with a challenge that was altogether new. In the drains and pipes the dogs could hide and were hard to get hold of.

They were scared and nervous and hours later, he had made little progress.

In desperation, he retrieved their deceased mother from the junction where she lay and using her to lure them out managed to grab one white and tan puppy, later named Sydney.

'Even in death, Gaia helped me save her baby,' Mr Hagar reasoned.

Using cunning tactics to coax the other two out, after seven painstaking hours, he was finally successful and the three puppies are now safe and healthy at Bill Foundation where they hope to be adopted soon.

The rescue group has already released a heartwarming video of Sydney, Mathilda and Gabriella at play five days after their rescue.



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