When Maria Adams spotted a group of homeless dogs roaming around on a patch of wasteland, she couldn’t let the opportunity to take them pass her by. So she rushed back home to collect her car, before luring all 27 of them into her vehicle.
Adams hails from the city of Hemet in California. One day in January 2018, she was enjoying her usual morning walk. Her journey took her through the streets and past an abandoned lot on Santa Fe Street.
It was on this vacant plot that a strange scene caught Adams’ eye. Several dogs roamed around, and there was also a dumped milk crate. And when Adams went to investigate, she found five puppies concealed within the box.
Dotted around the lot, Adams could make out several plates of food. This suggested to the early-morning walker that someone had once cared for these dogs at least a little. As a result, she concluded that their owner must have abandoned them.
Glancing at the animals, Adams weighed up her options. Then she made a rather surprising decision. She returned home to collect her car, so that she could round up the dogs and remove them from the vacant lot.
To help attract the dogs, Adams also fetched some beef jerky. With that, she was able to entice some of the animals into her vehicle. “Once I got the three biggest ones in there, all the little ones came,” she told CBS LA in January 2018.
Before long, Adams had herded all the abandoned animals into her vehicle. She hadn’t had time to count all of the canines before piling them into her car. However, she later learned that there were a massive 27.
With the dogs secured, Adams set off on her way. Some time later, she arrived outside San Jacinto’s Ramona Humane Society. But when animal officers saw how many animals she’d concealed in her car, it shocked them.
Describing the reaction of one officer in particular, Adams revealed, “He looked at me. He looked at my car. It was just full of dogs.” Clearly, the man couldn’t believe just how many animals were squeezed into one vehicle.
When Adams entered the Humane Society, she may well have shocked even more staff members with her impressive haul. “When I went in there, they said, ‘How many are there?’ I said, ‘I have no idea. I just put them in the car,’” she revealed.
Although Adams’ delivery methods may have been unconventional, she had potentially saved 27 lives. “Who knows, they could be dead right now on the side of the road. People coming by. Kids coming by,” she said.
At the Humane Society, the canines received the care they deserved. The dogs – which consisted of five puppies and 22 adults – were chihuahuas and mixed terriers by breed. And despite their ordeal, they looked relatively healthy.
With that said, none of the dogs were neutered or spayed, and many of them needed vaccinations. However, after receiving full physicals at the shelter, staff were confident that all 27 would be ready for adoption within a week.
And if the Ramona Humane Society Facebook page was anything to go by, there was already plenty of interest in the pooches. When the shelter posted an update revealing details of the dogs’ rescue, they were met with an outpouring of affection.
The post, which hailed Adams as a “Good Samaritan” received more than 600 reactions and more than 500 shares. Furthermore, the update attracted 174 comments, many of them praising the dogs’ rescuer too.
Among the kind comments, one Facebook user wrote, “This is so sad but thank goodness there are people who care enough to stop and help. The doggies thank you.” Meanwhile, another comment read, “27 dogs all by herself, she’s a saint.”
However, after coming across the post herself, Adams was eager to deflect some of the praise she received. In the comments, she wrote, “I must say and give shout out to the INCREDIBLE staff at the Ramona Shelter. They [are] so, so caring, so nice [and] so loving with these babies.”
And she had nothing but good words about the dogs she rescued as well. “All these babies are lovable,” she wrote. “They were scared but they seem okay with people – no aggression, even lovable. Even the mama was okay when I got the pups.”
Consequently, Adams had high hopes for the futures of all the 27 dogs she rescued. “They will make awesome pets,” she said. “They were all over me in the car. It was sad but they are safe that is the most important thing.”
However, while Adams was keen to sing the pooches’ praises, she knows owning dogs can be hard work. So, to ensure the animals a bright future, she urged people to take their adoption seriously. “They’re cute. But it’s a life and it’s a commitment,” she warned. “So if you can’t do it, then don’t do it.”