News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 18, 2013

9 puppies rescued from roadside pipe

Greene County no-kill shelter works to pull dogs to safety

BLOOMFIELD — When members of a Greene County no-kill rescue group learned of nine puppies abandoned in a roadside drainage pipe, they immediately went to work Monday morning.

They worried that if it rained, the one-week old puppies would be washed away.

It wasn’t an easy rescue, by any means.

Rebecca Carmichael, a member of SAFE Animal Rescue, went to the scene — about six miles south of Bloomfield on Indiana 231 —  and did an initial assessment. The puppies were about six feet into the small, narrow drainage pipe and could not be reached by hand.

Later, she returned along with SAFE’s vice president, Elizabeth Riggins. “I climbed back into the pipe as far as I could, but I still couldn’t reach the puppies,” said Riggins, 30, who lives in Linton and is studying to be a surgical technician at Vincennes University.

She had to get creative.

Riggins duct-taped together a garden hoe and a broom and dug out some of the dirt in the drain opening so she could get in a little further.

Finally, able to get herself halfway into the drain, Riggins used her homemade device and was able to drag out the puppies one by one. With each one, “I checked to make sure their noses were clear of dirt and their gums were pink and all of that stuff,” she said.

She handed them to Carmichael, a registered vet technician, who further checked out the puppies and put them in a kennel. Riggins and Carmichael were at the scene about 11⁄2 to two hours.

Also on site was the puppies’ mother, who looks like a black and tan coon hound, Riggins said.

“The only way she [mother dog] could get into the pipe was to get on her belly and do an army crawl,” Riggins said. “It was a pretty tight fit.”

The no-kill rescue group was contacted by a man who had been feeding the abandoned mother, but initially didn’t realize she had puppies. “He lives in that area and had seen the dog for a few days. He realized she wouldn’t go anywhere and followed her to the drain pipe,” Riggins said. He shined a flash light into the pipe and discovered the babies.

He then contacted SAFE Animal Rescue Inc., a volunteer operation.

The mother and nine puppies are now being fostered at Carmichael’s house. When the puppies are eight weeks old, they’ll be given up-to-date shots and dewormed. Then, “we’ll put them on Petfinder for adoption,” Riggins said.

“We’re all animal lovers, and we didn’t want them to be drowned in that pipe,” Riggins said. “We do whatever we have to do to save them.”

The mother also will be put up for adoption. “They’re all in pretty good shape, nice and healthy,” Riggins said.

The volunteers theorize that someone abandoned the mother dog because she was pregnant, and the mother dog either had the puppies in the drain or placed them there.

Safe Animal Rescue Inc. was formed about a year ago. “We’ve saved more than 400 animals,” Riggins said. Not one has been euthanized. “Whatever needs to be done, we do it to help them keep healthy and get adopted,” she said.

The group has seven people who foster.

The group operates off donations. For more information, go to or the group’s Facebook page at Safe Animal Rescue Inc., where photos of Monday’s rescue can be found.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Planes With MH17 Victims Land in Eindhoven 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Tanks Patrol Gaza Streets During Ceasefire Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Raw: Sirens After Explosions in Israel Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Today in History for July 27th Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News