Ashley Blake and her cross-country running companion had no clue they’d end up saving a life when they went out on a forested track in Tennessee last week. But, at the end of the day, five young animals had been spared the most tragic ending.
Blake and her buddy Joshua Scott were about 6 miles into their 14-mile hike in Frozen Head State Park when they heard a faint sound just off the route. They came to a halt, turned around, and looked.
Blake told The Dodo, “It was just a small rustle that got us.” “Forest creatures are common, and we expected to hear them. When we turned around, there was a dark mound in front of us.”
As Blake and Scott warily approached the dark mass, they recognized what it was.
Blake described the scene as “five pups cuddled together.” “They were attempting to remain warm in near-freezing temps. You encounter a lot of wildlife as a trail runner, but seldom puppies.”
Blake and Scott quickly requested assistance from park officials. They then went out to console the terrified puppies and protect them from the elements.
Blake described them as “terrified and weeping.” “Once they understood we weren’t trying to hurt them and we were warm, they calmed down.”
The pups had discovered the heroes they had been searching for.
Soon after, a ranger arrived to aid, and it became clear that the puppies had not ended up there by chance.
Not far from where they were discovered, a peaceful route runs through the woods, attracting those looking to dump their pets.
“They were abandoned without food, drink, a blanket, or their mother,” Blake explained. “According to the park ranger, this isn’t the first time pups have been dropped here.”
The pups were brought to the ranger’s car by Blake, Scott, and the ranger. Blake and Scott had chosen to stop and investigate the source of the rustling sound they’d heard, and the small dogs were now secure and in excellent hands.
The runners continued on their route, but the pups were never far from their thoughts.
“We finished our run with newfound vigor, buoyed by the thrill of what had just occurred. A genuine animal rescue organization, “Blake said. “I have no doubt they would have frozen or been prey for the wild beasts that night.”
The ranger and his family decided to keep the five puppies that night so that preparations could be made to send them to a local animal shelter the next day. Blake and Scott, on the other hand, stopped over to see the tiny puppies they had rescued.
Scott made the decision to adopt one of the puppies.
Barkley, as he’s now known, has found a forever home …
… but his siblings need their own, too.
The remaining four puppies will be ready for adoption soon at the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter in Tennessee.
Barkley’s brother and sisters, with any chance, will be able to have long, happy lives as treasured pets – an opportunity that would have been lost to them if their terrible condition had gone unreported. Blake considers herself lucky to have been able to intervene in this way:
She explained, “We were at the right place at the right moment.”