ROLLA, N.D. (Valley News Live) – In the small town of Rolla, a burly-bearded guy and his wife rеscuе 60-100 animals out of their garage every single month. With help from crazy animal lovers across the US, Keith Benning and Wanda Gonzalez are TMAR – Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue.
On Dec 21st, it was -24 F below zero when they got a call. Momma dog and her puppies were trapped under a concrete porch. What happened next turned into one of the most heart-warming Christmas stories this year.
Keith says he rushed to the site, the ground was frozen, there was no way to jack up the porch without hurting the pups. Using a pickaxe, he hammered the frozen ground until he heard the squealing pups trapped beneath. A TMAR volunteer live streamed the harrowing rеscuе until the intense cold shut off their cellphone– leaving their 477K loyal followers in the dark about what happened next.
The mother survivеd along with one puppy. The rest succumbed to the cold. Back at the garage, the lone survivor was hypothermic, barely moving and badly injured. Keith recalls in a video update “This puppy has been through the worst I have ever seen. Bite marks, a bad infection, dehydrated and hypothermic. I honestly have no idea how she survivеd this long. I don’t know if she will make it or not, but if she doesn’t, she will pass warm and loved. Everyone say a little prayer.”
They did everything they could but the little pup was so weak, unsteady on her feet, eyes sunken back – yet refusing to give up. For days she fought to stay alive, but things didn’t look good. Keith and crew posted updates while people from all over the world prayed for a Christmas miracle.
The story took a heart-warming turn when a supporter from the UK wrote that she had just Iơst her mother, Roma. A beloved woman, a “wee petite lady of five feet … but she had the heart of a lion and a lot of FIGHT!” And so, the little brave puppy got her name- Roma.
Update videos were sweet, heartbreaking and sometimes amusing. 300,000 people tuned in to the group’s Facebook page to cheer on Roma around-the-clock.
Four days after her rеscuе, a quick video showed Roma wagging her tail, then she pranced and eventually galloped across the kitchen floor. This tiny but mighty pup gave the rеscuе team and people across the world the best present ever: Hope and happiness on Christmas.
If you would likе to see Roma and all of the other rеscuеd animals at TMAR, click here.
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