Clever mother dog hides her puppies in ditches to keep them safe until help arrives

When a man made a Facebook post about giving away his dog and her nine puppies, a concerned community immediately stepped in to make sure the little family got the attention and care they so desperately needed.

Nana is 4 years old, and spent the past three years of her life chained up outside her home in North Carolina. She gave birth three times, and the first two litters of puppies didn’t make it. All nine of the puppies in her third and final litter survived, and as soon as they were born, her owner decided he wanted to give all 10 dogs away.

As soon as the man posted about giving the dogs away in July, neighbors who were aware of the situation immediately stepped in and took the dogs. Staffers at Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary (FFAS) heard about the dog family and knew they had to help, and contacted Mr. Bones & Co. Rescue for assistance.

“They sent us photos of the conditions she was living in and the state she was in,” Elli Frank, founder of Mr. Bones & Co, told The Dodo. “Her babies were in a ditch we believe she moved them to to keep them cool in the hot July sun. It was heartbreaking.”

FFAS agreed to keep the sweet family in its care until the puppies were weaned and could be moved all the way to New York, where Mr. Bones & Co. is based. During that time, rescuers from Mr. Bones & Co. visited Nana and her puppies to gain their trust and make the eventual journey and transition that much easier.

“Nana had been bred by her owner two previous times and watched every baby except one die,” Frank said. “She was a protective mom and had suffered so much neglect and loss that we wanted her to know she was safe, and would remain safe, with us and FFAS.”

After getting to know all of the puppies, it was decided they would all be named after characters from Peter Pan. The puppies names are Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily, Wendy, John, Michael, Cubby, Liza and Jane.

The puppies continued to get bigger and healthier …


… until finally, in mid-September, Nana and her family were flown to New Jersey with pilots from Pilots N Paws, where they were then picked up by Mr. Bones & Co. and taken to New York. It was a long journey, but finally, after so long, Nana and all her puppies were safe.

Rescuers drove each of the nine Peter Pan puppies to their foster homes the day they arrived, and finally, it was time to take Nana to her foster home, too. As she cuddled with her rescuers in the car, exhausted from the journey, it was very clear that for the first time in a while, Nana felt completely safe.

“She had learned to trust us over the course of our visits and allowed us to give her babies to kind homes who would take over caring for them until they found forever homes,” Frank said. “She knew she had done her part and had finally been able to save her babies and ensure they survived.”

Now, Nana and her puppies are all thriving in their individual foster homes, and Nana’s fosters are even considering adopting her. The puppies are growing more and more every day, and everyone involved with their rescue is so thrilled. The road to rescue the little family was a long one, but now they are all happy and safe.

“It makes the struggle worth it,” Frank said.


If you’d like to adopt one of the Peter Pan puppies, you can meet them at Mr. Bones & Co.’s annual adoption event, Rescue the Runway, on Sept. 24.

To help other dogs like Nana and her puppies, you can donate to Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary.