The moment a stray mom dog helped rescuers find her missing puppies has been captured on camera and melted hearts online.
Boonie Babies Rescue is located on Saipan island, the largest island in the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Run by sisters Aria and Grace Keilbach, the team works hard to rescue stray dogs and give them a new life.
The term “boonie” is derived from the term “boondocks,” meaning remote or rural areas. Boonie dogs are stray or abandoned animals living in the wild, also known as feral or street dogs.
In 2021, government officials in Saipan declared the stray dog population “out of control,” and earlier this year it was reported that there are as many as 21,000 stray dogs on the island. Saipan is a commonwealth of the U.S. and as of 2020 had a human population of just 43,000.
On their TikTok page the Boonie Babies Rescue team shared the story of a friendly dog found on a roadside.
Easy to catch, they quickly realized the starving dog was a mother when they saw a deceased puppy on the road nearby. Surrounded by thick plants and jungle, they tried to look for others but came up short.
In the video, the rescue team explained: “We knew the only one who could find any more puppies was mama herself, so we went home to build some trust (so she’d let us catch her again), grabbed an Airtag collar and headed back.”
But none of them were prepared for what would happen next as the mom set to work finding her lost puppies.
Despite not holding out much hope, before long they heard crying puppy sounds and realized the mom had directed them to the first canine baby.
There is a reason this mom was able to find her puppies. Dog trainer and canine behaviorist Joe Nutkins told Newsweek: “When dogs give birth they will recognize the scent of her own puppies and they will recognize her so that they can find their mom when first born.
“As the puppies grow the scent that bonds them will start to fade slowly. In a pet situation, many puppies will leave their mother before 12 weeks old and the scent is something they remember if they meet again, even years later. However, the longer it is before a mother sees her offspring, the lower the chances are that she will show recognition,” she explained.
With a wagging tail, the dog appeared thrilled to have found a puppy, and the team let her have a break before trying again.
“After finding one, we regrouped and played some more puppy noises and she went back to searching,” the video explained.
It wasn’t long until they had found a second puppy, trapped under thick foliage that had to be pulled apart before the dog could be reached.
At the end of the search, they came back with two puppies who had been reunited with their mom in a heartwarming moment.
Viewer Devon Turner wrote: “Omg finding the puppies was so miraculous. You saved that little family.”
“You just saved that puppies life. I’m so glad you went back,” said Corinne.
“Wow. That was amazing to watch! Impressed how you rescued her babies. Most wouldn’t have put in that kind of effort. Puppy heroes,” agreed kimstanton47.
Newsweek reached out to Boonie Babies Rescue via email for comment.
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