About Darla

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It was just after Christmas 2002...an "Urgent" plea for help came from a fellow rescuer in LA. Rocky put out a plea on the rescue boards that would reach thousands...

"Momma & unborn pups to be euthanized"

A picture was forwarded with this message. The dogs eyes were soft and friendly. I sat and thought, how could anyone put down a momma with babies, surely there is a local group that will rescue this friendly girl. I kept my eye on this girl and a couple days later I had learned there wasn't anyone coming forth to save her and her time had run out at the shelter. It was the season of giving and I knew S.A.F.E. needed to step in.

This shelter in LA is in a sparsely populated area where there are few adoptions and a single rescuer pulling as many dogs out for rescue as she can. I contacted Rocky and she pulled Darla from the shelter & set up transport to Florida. I had to put a name with this adorable face and "Darla" seemed fitting. We were told that she was due literally at any moment and everyone on the transport list was nervous, yet excited to be part of such a rescue mission.

Several rescues and volunteers were lined up to make the long haul. Each time Darla was handed off to the next transporter, the last went back home to e-mail a report to the group. During the entire trip down, we placed bets and teased eachother "it" would happen on their shift. Many sent e-mails joking about the number of puppies Darla would have as Catahoula's can have many...Darla was HUGE and was referred to as looking like a goat! Finally Darla arrived and the puppies had not yet been born.

Darla managed to wait 10 days before having her sweet babies. Darla was a very sweet & loving dog right from the beginning. I went through several days of taking temperatures and thinking..."this is it!", only to wait a little longer. On January 21, 2003, I took Darla out to go to the bathroom. As she appeared to be going potty, I noticed a pup descending. Here I was, home alone and holding Darla in one hand and trying to catch the pup in the other. What was more surprising is that Darla seemed just as surprised as I was and turned as if to say....What is that? If I had more time to think, I would have been bursting out with laughter!

Darla did not immediately go to the pup, so, I had to act fast. I picked it up and broke the sac and held the pup up to Darla who then took over. Darla had a panicked look on her face and I knew we had better make it to the birthing box. Darla had 11 puppies throughout the day, only 9 survived. Darla was a very good mother. The puppies were so tiny and precious and so many different colors. It brought great joy knowing they would have a chance at loving homes.

Just when all seemed well, Mom and pups went for a checkup and it was discovered she was heartworm positive amongest being infested with all kinds of worms. My heart sank...she had been through so much already. Darla would have to wait 8 weeks until her pups were weaned before treatment could begin. During these eight weeks, the pups began to thrive. One pup became anemic and needed medical treatment including a blood transfusion. We had come much too far, there was no way we weren't going to do all we could. She came through with flying colors and made a quick and complete recovery!

We began taking applications and screening prospective adoptive families and each found a wonderful new home including Darla. Letting Darla go was hard, we had been through alot in the 3 months and bonded. I knew there was another pet in need around the corner. Knowing they are going to loving homes makes it easier and seeing them happy a year later is what it is all about.

Kim M. Vogel
S.A.F.E. Society of Florida, Inc.

SAFE Society of Florida, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization . One hundred percent (100%) of all donations received (excluding monies paid as reimbursement for provided medical services) goes directly toward the care of the animals within our organization.


A VERY Pregnant Darla


Darla's new pups


Got Milk??


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