A group of campers became heroes when they rescued a litter of puppies that were abandoned in a van.
The group of friends was camping in southern Illinois for Memorial Day last weekend when they heard what sounded like dogs barking throughout the night. The next day, the group went to find the source of the noise and discovered a van full of animals all alone in the 27-degree weather.
But thanks to the quick-thinking campers, a potential tragedy was avoided.
One of the van’s windows was slightly cracked open, so one of the campers reached in and managed to unlock the door to release the pups. In total, there were 11 animals inside, including eight puppies, their mother, another full-grown dog, and a three-legged cat.
One of the campers was Nick Achtien, who took to Facebook to share his story. On Facebook, he wrote that when he and his group of friends saw the situation, and then “took ownership and charge.”
Shortly after the animals were released and the local sheriff was called, the owners of the animals returned to their van. According to Achtien, the sheriff could not take away the animals from their owners because the animals were uninjured and in no immediate danger.
Achtien and his friends offered the owners $100 for the litter, but they refused the money. Instead, they gave the puppies and their mother to the group for free.
“We camped with these barrels of fun for the weekend,” wrote Achtien. “Word about our campsite spread among the entire campground and people approached us and commended us for what we did. Some even dropped off dog food for the pups!”
By the weekend, the group had already found forever homes for three of the puppies and a shelter, the Sunrise Centre Animal Rescue, for the remaining five and their mother.
“I have the biggest grin on my face knowing we saved 11 animals that day,” wrote Achiten.
It’s important to never leave animals inside a vehicle on warm days, even if windows are slightly open. Studies have shown that rolling down the windows have little effect on the temperature inside the car. Since dogs cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws, the hot air and upholstery in cars prevent trapped dogs from adjusting their body temperature.
According to the Humane Society, if you do see a pet inside a parked car, take down the car’s make, model, and license plate number. If there are businesses nearby, ask the managers to make an announcement to find the owner. If the owner cannot be located, call the local police or animal service.