Tail of survival & rescue: mother dog digs tunnels under cedar trees to survive winter storm

Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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HOCKLEY COUNTY, Texas (KCBD) - About three weeks ago, a dog and her four puppies were rescued by Sallie Morris, Owner of Morris Safe House. But what makes this rescue story unique is the lengths this mother went through to make sure her puppies survived the harsh winter storm.

It all started about three weeks ago when Morris, received a call about rescuing a dog near her shelter.

“(He) said did you know there’s a starving yellow lab at your tree line? And I said, ‘No, I’m never at my tree line.’ So I took food down and she comes running down the dirt road, happy to see somebody,” said Morris.

That was the first time Morris met Cedar. Morris visited Cedar over the next week; bringing her food and gaining her trust.

“The next morning, I met her and she was even happier to see me, and she started taking food out of my hand,” said Morris.

A few days later one of Cedar’s four puppies appeared. The pup was taken to the shelter to be with Cedar.

“Then a week later, Matt calls and said, ‘Sally, there’s three more puppies down here.’ So immediately I went down with food, we couldn’t find them. I took traps out and baited them so they would get in it,” said Morris.

Eventually, Morris was able to rescue three more puppies but was worried there was more trapped underground. Morris Safe House Board Members reached out to local plumbers for help.

“Joe Rushing said, ‘well, we use cameras to go down into the sewer and water lines.’ (I) told him Cedar’s story and he had a vested interest from then on and came out here with the big truck and he personally scoped the tunnel.”

Thankfully there were no other puppies located. Cedar was named after digging a large tunnel under the cedar trees.

“She had dug this massive hole,” said Morris, “there was a 20-foot-long tunnel that curved to the right and a 10-foot tunnel that curve to the left.’

Morris’ best guess, the pups were born on Valentine’s Day and Cedar dug the tunnels days before the polar vortex hit the South Plains.

“She made sure these babies were safe and warm and predators couldn’t get them,” said Morris.

Cedar and her puppies, Mackey, Dustee, Timber, and Faviana, are getting care at Morris Safe House and will be available for adoption soon.

You can find more information on how to donate or how to adopt Cedar and her pups on the Morris Safe House Facebook page, click here.

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