Rescue Operation: Desert Mountain Rescue (Parts 1 & 2)

We were contacted by a local rescue about a momma dog and puppies on the side of a mountain. The terrain was not very easy to work with so I was joined by two friends and volunteers, GK O’Leary and Julia Gomez. I thought the best thing to do considering the circumstance was to take the puppies and try to capture the mother later. The terrain wouldn’t allow us to place a trap in that area and sedating her up there can be very dangerous if she ran off and went any higher. She could fall or we could get hurt trying to get her down.

UPDATE (Monday, Nov. 30, 2015): 
Puppies have been rescued. There were five total. Three females and two males. We searched carefully for others.
For now we’re working on luring momma dog lower to a flat area where we’re going to set up a trap that will be safe and monitored constantly and away from traffic. Chasing her is not an option, never should be. Setting a trap on the mountain is not safe. It would be difficult to get the trap down with her inside and it would be too risky to get her out of the trap and carry her or walk her down. We don’t know anything about her behavior and a feral dog can be dangerous to handle.
Part 1: The Puppies 

Once we were able to get the puppies safely the Humane Society of El Paso offered to take them in after the original rescue failed to find a foster home. The puppies were vaccinated on intake, bathed, and taken into their foster program so they can be closely watched and socialized. Contact the Humane Society of El Paso for details on adoptions. El Paso Pets is not a rescue organization or a shelter. We work with local rescues but do not have animals for adoption ourselves.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015): Animal Services Officers were at the scene. I explained to them the situation and they advised me that there was a report of a dog howling on the mountain. Animal Control Officers suspected a transient had tied a dog up on the mountain while he went to a store or something. I explained the tent up on the mountain was empty and placed by a resident of the area hoping to provide shelter for the dog. I advised them that the puppies were safe and we were working on rescuing the mother dog. We told them we were waiting for our volunteers to bring a trap to the location. They stated they would notify other officers about the trap and keep monitoring it to make sure she was safe.

UPDATE (Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015): A humane trap was set but the latch was not responding correctly. We decided to leave the trap with the scent of the puppies and not arm the trap so she could get familiar with it and be able to walk in freely without being alarmed and risk her getting away.

UPDATE (Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015): We were met by Aaron Hernandez, the son of the woman who first reported the dog. He was able to help me set the trap and correct the problem with the latch. He also helped me bait the trap with used pee pads from the puppy’s foster, the blankets used by the puppies, some wet dog food, and a spare cell phone set to play various audio clips of puppy sounds such as barking, yipping, whining, and crying. We placed the cell phone between a towl underneath the trap and scattered the puppy pee pads and dog food around and inside the trap. We stood by and watched from a safe area with binoculars. Watch the video below.
Part Two: Momma’s Turn

To donate to “Madonna’s” medical care and temporary boarding, please visit Dog, Cat, & Bird Hospital at 3233 N Mesa St #210, El Paso, TX 79902
To volunteer, foster for, or donate to the Humane Society of El Paso please visit
To donate to “Madonna’s” medical care and temporary boarding, please visit Dog, Cat, & Bird Hospital at 3233 N Mesa St #210, El Paso, TX 79902
To help El Paso Pets provide more community outreach, education, and intervention please donate here:
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