When Eldad Hagar
was contacted by The Bill Foundation
about a dog called Gaia who had been abandoned in central California, he immediately embarked on a rescue mission.
Shortly after Gaia was dumped, she was hit by a car and suffered a broken leg, but prior to that, she had given birth to three beautiful pups. With Gaia now injured, the trio of pups faced an uncertain future, so when The Bill Foundation contacted Hope for Paws
to say they would take the family of dogs if they could be rescued, Hagar left his home in Los Angeles at 3 AM, reaching the location just before sundown.
When he arrives, Hagar only spots only the pups, who wary of him, keep their distance. A few minutes later, a local man arrives and tells Hagar that Gaia was a mile west, and had succumbed to her injuries just two hours ago. Hagar sped off and found Gaia lying at the side of the road by a stop sign. Whoever had hit her, had left her and driven off.
Petting her, "I told her I was sorry people did this," says Hagar in the video
, but "I promised her I would save her babies."
And save them he did, after hours of effort. Hagar rescues Sydney first with the aid of a little food, but the act spooks her siblings. After two hours have passed he is no closer to rescuing the remaining pups, so he turns to Gaia for help. "In desperation" Hagar says, "I hoped the puppies would come to their mother."
Reverently, the rescuer goes to fetch Gaia's body, and places it by the pups. He manages to catch Matilda fairly quickly as the pup runs out to greet her mother. "Even in death," said Hagar, "Gaia helped me save her baby," but the final pup, affectionately named Gabriella, is now alone and very scared. She crawls into a well and refuses to come out for four hours.
Hagar said he tried everything to lure the pup out. He writes at Flickr.com
, "I tied ropes to the mom's limbs just to make her move and make the puppy believe she was alive, but that didn't work. I placed the mom in different positions, and that didn't work either."
Hagar described the rescue as "one of the most challenging situations I ever faced, and it required special, never-used-before improvisation."
In a final desperate attempt to save Gabriella, Hagar used pressurized air to make enough noise to scare the little pup out of the well. It took 20 rounds before the young canine made a bolt for it, running into another pipe. With the help of a good Samaritan, Gabriella finally joins her siblings.
Their journey far from over, the pups are now having to learn to trust humans. You can watch what happens with that in Hagar's video of the rescue. Hope For Paws meanwhile, is now looking for a family who would be willing to adopt the trio of pups.
While the dedication Eldad Hagar showed in rescuing these pups can only be described as admirable, he doesn't believe that he accomplished it alone. "I believe Gaia was with me until all her children were safe," Hagar said, "and only then she crossed the rainbow bridge."