Teenager Savannah Minter was spending a Saturday night hanging out with a friend when she noticed a crate by a dumpster, outside an apartment block. And understandably, she went to take a closer look at the mysterious item. But when she saw what it contained, she was left shocked. In fact, the discovery nearly moved her to tears.
It was late July 2017, and the 16-year-old and her buddy had been driving around in Clear Lake, Texas. But as Minter was dropping off her friend at the Ivy at Clear Creek apartments, an object caught her attention.
The teen was parked by some dumpsters when she noticed something unsettling. Specifically, she could see what appeared to be a cage. And as she looked closer, she realized that there was something moving inside.
“I freaked out,” Minter admitted in an August 2017 interview with FOX 26. “I was on the phone with one of my friends and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’” And it’s not hard to see why the teenager was so shocked.
You see, Minter had chanced upon a crate filled with dogs. Yes, inside the cage she could see five tiny Chihuahuas huddled together. “I almost started crying and my friend had to calm me down. I was like, this is sad. How would someone ever do that?” she added to the Houston affiliate.
And even to the 16-year-old, it was clear that the dogs were not in a good way. Fleas and ticks covered their bodies, and they each appeared to be burdened with additional medical issues. Minter knew immediately, then, that the poor pooches were in desperate need of help.
As a result, Minter decided to take all of them with her. “I’m not gonna leave them here. It’s nighttime and that’s cruel,” she explained. “So I put them in the back of my car and I took them home.”
With a little help from her friends, Minter did all she could to care for the animals over the weekend before then transporting them to a local vet. And that’s when she got the sickening news that the Chihuahuas had probably lived the majority of their lives in a cage.
Considering what the five dogs had been through, then, they were each in need of some tender love and care. Indeed, Minter and her friends were keen to find each of them their perfect forever homes. But to do that, they first needed to find suitable adopters for the poor pooches.
It was at this point that the mother of one of the teenagers looking after the dogs suggested using the Nextdoor app. Nextdoor is a social network that allows communities to stay in touch. People use the app to find babysitters and tradespeople in their area or, more generally, to get to know their neighbors.
The teenagers and their parents, then, thought that using the app to find homes for the animals was worth a try. Consequently, they posted an advert for the five dogs to the social network. And before long, people had inundated them with messages, offering their help in any way that they could.
“We’ve gotten flooded with responses from people who now have fostered them or taken them for their forever homes,” Jenny Perez, the mother who posted the advert, revealed to FOX 26. The community also rallied together to help the dogs get better. “Now they are starting to do a donation for one of the pups who has [a] hernia,” Perez added.
The poor little pooch with the hernia was named Emma by her rescuer. Out of all the dogs, she had been in the worst health, and veterinary experts said that she’d certainly need medical attention. Luckily, though, she didn’t have to go through her ordeal alone.
Thanks to Perez’s advert, a married couple offered to help the poorly little doggy by sourcing the money for Emma’s vital treatment. Furthermore, they committed to temporarily fostering her as she recovered.
Eventually, though, little Emma was the only dog in need of a forever family; the other four Chihuahuas had each been adopted and were settling into their new homes. But if Minter, her friends or family were at all worried that Emma wouldn’t find an adopter due to her health problems, the happy ending for another of the abandoned pups may well have put their minds at rest.
That’s because one of the dogs that Minter had found – who was later named Loca – suffered from a muscle disorder. And while the condition meant she couldn’t walk properly, that didn’t seem to matter to everyone. Indeed, the little Chihuahua is now part of a loving household.
But things could have turned out very differently for all of the dogs if it hadn’t have been for Minter. “It makes me so happy that everyone in the community was wanting to find [the dogs forever homes],” she said to FOX 26. “And some people even want to donate money to the animals.”
“As a mom, it touches my heart,” Perez added. “Not only is my son associated with these young ladies… [but] they have all decided to take it upon themselves to help someone else that was in need. Even if it’s an animal.”
However, as the Chihuahuas have each settled into their new lives, the circumstances surrounding their discovery remained a mystery. In Texas, abandoning an animal is a chargeable offence according to both civil and criminal law. The individual or group responsible for dumping the five dogs, then, has so far gotten away with the cruel act, it seems.
Happily, though, the five dogs at least can now put the past behind them and make themselves at home with their new owners. And hopefully, they’ll never be left out in the cold again.