Neo is a hero. He speaks our language. When help was desperately needed to save seven starving, scared and abandoned dogs, Neo spoke up. In fact, he howled in despair. Neo is a dog, and he truly saved the day for his furry friends, four of them newborn puppies. Neo and his friends were found in an abandoned home in Newton County, Missouri. The owner of the home had died and the house was left vacant. Squatters occupied it off and on, so it is not clear who owned the dogs. What is clear is that they were abandoned without food or water and left to fend for themselves.
That’s when Neo took matters “into his own paws”. He climbed up to the attic where he found his way through an opening and onto the roof. His howls caught the attention of a neighbor who contacted the authorities. The Newton County Sheriff immediately contacted the Humane Society of Missouri. HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force made the 4.5 hour drive to Newton County and made it with little time to spare. Nina, the mom of the litter, was emaciated having used any food she could forage to produce milk for her puppies. When the rescue team arrived, she led them to a remote corner of the house where she was keeping the puppies safe. Nina wanted to be sure that her litter would not be inadvertently left behind.
There was an additional dog on the property. She was named Nora and seemed to suffer the most from the isolation. Nora was shy and somewhat in shock. She would need a little extra time to settle in and regain trust.
Today, the Newton Seven are all on their way to happy endings. As for Neo, the spokesdog of the group, once he had a couple of weeks of sound nutrition in his belly, he was adopted into his forever home. His pal Nora needed a little extra time to recover and return to a healthier weight, but she too is now in a loving home.
Nina has proven to be an exceptional mom. She was given a “suite” in a foster home where she could keep her puppies safe and also receive attention and care from people that love her. They are all thriving and growing in their foster home! Nina is on the small side of a lab mix, big on personality and very proud of her pups. Soon enough they will all be spayed and neutered and be ready to find their forever homes.
It is hard to know who is the real hero of this story. Neo is the one who howled to let neighbors know there were dogs in distress. Nina led the rescuers to her puppies and has taken excellent care of them. And then there are the all the compassionate people along the way.
There is HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force that drove across the state to answer the distress call. There are the veterinarians who evaluated their conditions and assessed their needs. There is the shelter staff who provided compassionate daily care and the families who have or will open their homes to the Newton County Seven. And above all, there are our generous donors who make these happy tails a reality and are the Humane Society of Missouri’s voices for defenseless animals.