Elli Smith was in the middle of rescuing a dog from the Arizona Humane Society when she stumbled upon another pup who desperately needed her help.
“I looked in the parking lot and saw this lady running in with an animal in her hands who was completely limp and not moving,” Smith, founder of Sky Sanctuary Rescue, told The Dodo.
“I was like, ‘Oh no, I know how the Humane Society is, and I know that this animal is going to be euthanized.’”
Smith rushed to the lobby, where she overheard the woman asking the front desk for help with the puppy. After, Smith introduced herself and handed the lady her card — just in case.INSTAGRAM/SKYSANCTUARYRESCUE
“I got in the car, and I was thinking, ‘Please call me. Please call me,’ because I knew that that puppy was not gonna make it,” Smith said. “Sure enough, within 10 minutes, she called me and said they wanted to euthanize the puppy, and I said, ‘Nope. Bring it to my vet right now.’”INSTAGRAM/SKYSANCTUARYRESCUE
The 3-week-old puppy, named Penelope, was covered in hundreds of ticks and needed a blood transfusion immediately. Luckily, the vet had the perfect candidate.
The vet’s wife rushed their pet dog, Murphy, over to the hospital, where he immediately took a liking to the puppy. “He was very, very curious like, ‘What is this little thing?’” Smith said.INSTAGRAM/SKYSANCTUARYRESCUE
Just a few syringes of Murphy’s blood brought the puppy back to life. “You could literally see the color rush back to her gums and the life into her eyes,” Smith wrote on Instagram. “This was such a special moment. I have to imagine Penelope is quite thankful for Murphy … her hero.”
When Penelope was out of the woods, Rachel Hendricks, the practice manager at Pet Urgent Care, took the puppy home so that she could bottle-feed her around the clock. Meanwhile, Smith worked to find and free Penelope’s mother.
Penelope’s mom, Petunia, and 25 other dogs were living outside in a fenced-in pen. Petunia spent her life in a dirt hole, exposed to the sun, wind and weather. Smith convinced the property owner to allow her to take Petunia and other sick or ailing dogs.INSTAGRAM/SKYSANCTUARYRESCUE
After treating Petunia for ticks, she and Penelope were reunited — and they couldn’t have been happier to see each other again.
Petunia immediately started licking her baby and allowed her to nurse. Once reunited, the two dogs’ personalities completely changed. “[Petunia is] super outgoing and loves to roll on her back and get belly rubs,” Smith said. “Penelope, of course, just loves being comforted and especially having her mom back.”
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Petunia and her baby will stay in their loving foster home until Penelope is 9 to 10 weeks old. Then, it will be time for both pups to start looking for a family of their own.
Smith hopes to find one who will give the dogs the care and attention they deserve and, of course, lots and lots of belly rubs.