Dog and her puppies safe after Hurricane Harvey

September 12, 2017

We just received an update from amazing Best Friends Network Partner, Angel City Pit Bulls that we just had to share.

They tell us that, "Sweet Abilene made it all the way to Los Angeles. She means so much to many of the incredible people who cared for her in Texas - her story of strength and survival in the face of extreme adversity deeply resonated with us. Thank you everyone who helped to get her here, and thank you Best Friends Animal Society for saving her life and the lives of so many others. Here's a little video of her officially becoming an Angel City Pit Bulls dog."


A mother’s first instinct is to protect her babies. And so it was only natural when floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey began to rise in Harris County, Texas, that a new mom living on an abandoned property with her four tiny puppies would carry them to safety.

One by one, she brought them to a house and started carrying them up to the porch and eventually captured the attention of a couple living there. They watched as she came up on the porch, with her babies in tow to escape the pouring rain and flooding ground, and their hearts sank. They were expecting a baby of their own any day now, and couldn’t bear watching this mother struggle just to keep her puppies alive.

If the flood wasn’t enough, Harris County was under a chemical leak warning after the flooding breached tanks at a chemical plant, making the situation even worse.

The couple knew it was vital to get mom and her litter of pups someplace safe fast, and so they gathered them up and brought them to the Rescue and Reunite Center, a partnership between the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and Best Friends. They hoped that there, mom and her puppies could get the care they needed to survive.

Learn how Best Friends is helping in Texas

The mom and her puppies received the care they needed

Helping a mother help her puppies

As soon as the mom and puppies arrived at the rescue center, Best Friends volunteers got to work bathing them to remove any chemicals they might have come into contact with. But as they washed the little family, they noticed the emaciated state of the mom’s body. She and her puppies were also covered in fleas, a condition that would require more than a couple of baths to remedy.

After a good cleaning, it was on to a medical exam. A volunteer veterinarian looked over the mom and her puppies and there was good news: With flea medication and a few good meals, mom would soon be healthy. And the healthier she was, the better she’d be able to nurse her puppies so that they could grow up healthy and strong.

Next, the family moved into a special area away from other animals. There, they could get the care and attention needed from Best Friends staff and volunteers, and the puppies could get love from mom in a safe place.

The worst is over

“She is the best momma,” says Peggy Kennedy, a Best Friends volunteer helping out in the center’s puppy area, where some of the smallest and most vulnerable animals affected by Hurricane Harvey can be kept healthy. “She’s been able to get some rest and she just loves taking care of her babies.”

Peggy traveled all the way from Los Angeles to volunteer with an organization called Angel City Pit Bulls, which is a Best Friends Network partner. Hurricane Harvey was the worst thing to happen to the mama dog and her puppies. But the sun is finally starting to shine for them. The worst is over and now, life is getting better.

Help Hurricane Harvey’s animals

The momma dog and her puppies are now able to get some rest

Photos by Molly Wald