9-Year-Old Boy Squeezes Himself Into A Dark Drainage Pipe To Save Newborn Puppies

Reviewed by Dr. Katy Nelson

April 14, 2016

South Charlotte Dog Rescue in North Carolina enlisted the help of several volunteers to free a litter of puppies from an underground drainage ditch—including nine-year-old Rafe.

Rafe’s mom Danielle Spuler accompanied the volunteer group with her son, but they faced a bit of a predicament when the drain in question proved smaller than most grown-ups. Ever the dog-lover and deeply passionate about animals, Rafe had no qualms about crawling inside.


A rope tied around his ankle, Rafe entered head-first and emerged several times with all five puppies in tow. The mama, named Ruby, observed from a distance while everyone worked. But the newborn puppies hadn’t even opened their eyes, and they needed their mom.

rafe puppy rescue

Volunteers laid a blanket in a trap with a bit of food in an effort to catch Ruby, but it was easier said than done. “She is so smart,” Spuler told WCNC. “She pulled the blanket all the way out and just ate the food.”

But rescuers finally caught Ruby by the next day and reunited her with her three-day-old babies. The family of six is finally residing in a foster home after what turned out to be a months-long ordeal. Volunteers Lisa Matthews, Theresa Tucker, and Karlei Horne worked since January to get the mama dog safe, only realizing she had puppies when she failed to show up at a daily feeding spot.

ruby and pups

“She was very scared,” said Spuler. “It was obvious she had been on her own for awhile.” But Ruby will learn in time to trust and enjoy life, and her brood will do the same with families of their own. All thanks to a big group of dedicated people, and one young volunteer who stepped up for a job no one else could do.

Well done! The happy family won’t be available for adoption for a while, but if you live in the South Charlotte area and would like to adopt, please fill out an application and contact the rescue.

h/t WCNC, featured image via Danielle Spuler/Facebook

Reviewed by Dr. Katy Nelson

April 14, 2016