If there’s an animal in Houston, Texas in need of rescue, Callie Clemens is sure to do whatever it takes to help. This animal-lover started a nonprofit called Paws Off The Streets, and she’s taken part in many rescue missions that others won’t. That’s why, when someone noticed a litter of puppies disappear but could still hear their cries, they knew to call Callie.
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The search for these tiny pups began last Friday. It quickly became clear they were stuck in the storm drains. Unfortunately, this situation is rather common. This area of has actually become known as a place where people will abandon their unwanted dogs. Callie has actually rescued a cat from these very drains before. So, with some experience under her belt, she ventured into the small, cockroach infested space.
“I knew nobody would do it, so I had to jump in,” Callie said.
Luckily, Callie had a small group of volunteers to assist her, including her dog, Giselle, who is great at sniffing out for other animals. But whenever they would get close to the puppies, they’d become frightened and run away. Eventually, dog sounds were used in hopes of getting a response from them.
“The puppies screamed,” Callie recalled. “They got louder and ran away. We had to try and corner them … I saw them pretty quickly. They ran away, they were tiny.”
At nearly 2 a.m., this brave rescue crew finally saved two of the pups! This was a triumphant moment, but they could still hear the sounds of another lost pup, meaning there was more work to be done. In fact, Callie was back in the drains the very next day, determined to find the precious pup.
Although she tends to be the only one willing to go underground, she couldn’t be more grateful for the help she’s received in other ways. For example, the city had unlocked drains for her to venture down and an engineer created a map of the drains to help her navigate better.
Even though Callie is having to take antibiotics from being in these unsanitary spaces so much, nothing can stop her from finding that last dog.
“I do some pretty stupid stuff,” Callie said. “I just try not to think about it and just do it.”
One of the dogs who has already been rescued is safe at the ASPCA while the other is at the city shelter. As for this last lost pup, Callie might end up choosing to keep them.
“I’m invested, I am hopeful and I remain optimistic,” she said. “It’s very hard to get me to quit. I’m very passionate about it.”
We wish Callie and her rescue team all of the luck as they continue to work hard in order to rescue that last dog!
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