So this is how my 4-year-old granddaughter gleefully described part of her experience of nuzzling eight 3-day-old puppies: "They were going to do something to the mother," she said with a bit of sadness in her voice. "I don’t know what." And then she said, in shouts of wildly exuberant passion, "But then Miss MARY and her friends RESCUED the MOMMY and all of these ADORABLE puppies!"

And now here is the true story of the Great Dog Rescue:

A few days ago a post went out on Facebook about a young boxer/mix in St. Charles Parish, who was about to whelp and, unfortunately, also about to be euthanized. 

The buzz flew through Facebook’s network of dog lovers. Mary Shelton led the cause. With the help of Ally Kirk, a very popular local dog walker, and Michelle Ingram, owner of Zeus’s Place, they plotted their rescue plan. 

Mary offered her home to foster Shadow and made all the arrangements. Ally and Michelle drove to the shelter to retrieve the dog.  Shadow had already delivered two pups before her rescue team arrived. The others were born in transit and are now safely ensconced in Mary’s home. Her two other dogs, Nico and Figgy, are being gracious and well-behaved hosts.

The compassion and generosity of dog lovers did not stop there. Soon an account was set up in Shadow’s name at the Southern Animal Foundation, where people could donate to the puppies’ care.

As the donations rolled in, Mary named the pups after their donors. There have been so many donations that some of the pups now have middle names, and eventually, because they still need funds, some may end up with names sounding like royalty: Sophia Annabelle Elizabeth Maria Puppy.

The five males and three females are all healthy, and most likely a Lab of some sort was the father.

Mary is the operations director of the soon-to-open Belladoggie Resort Spa for Dogs and has been very active with Dag’s House, which provides daycare and rehabilitation to special needs dogs.

Caring for stray and unwanted dogs has always been a part of Mary’s life. Her mother started the Hinsdale Humane Society in Illinois, and Mary happily spent her weekends walking, feeding and caring for the animals in the shelter.

“You know many of us don’t have a lot of resources but we still want to help and this was something I could do, “ she says. “I am so happy to do it.”

If you want to be a part of the Great Dog Rescue contact the Southern Animal Foundation at 671-8235 or at their website. And please note all the pups and Shadow will be up for adoption soon. My granddaughter has already picked out her favorite.