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Tossed in trash, puppies get surrogate mother

By Sarah L. Smith
Coastal Observer

Will Stanton was walking his dogs in Wachesaw Park when Trixxi, his English bulldog and yellow lab mix, heard noises in a 55-gallon trash can.

“Trixxi was ballistic,” Stanton said.

She was jumping up on the big black can and trying to get inside.

“I looked, and I heard them squealing. You could see the four little black balls. So I pulled them out of the trash can and carried them a quarter of a mile to Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital,” he said.

After the staff there cleaned and warmed the puppies and gave Stanton formula, he went back to his house in Murrells Inlet, got in his car and took the puppies south until he could find someone who would take care of them.

His next stop, Dr. McNeil’s Veterinary Hospital on Waverly Road, yielded the same results, but one staff member suggested Stanton take the pups to Pawleys Pets, a pet store and grooming business.

The adventure that began on a cold Friday morning at 7 a.m. didn’t end when Felicia Richardson, the owner of Pawleys Pets, opened her doors at 9 a.m. Stanton went to his job, and staff at Pawleys Pets worked on the dogs.

While they fed each dog with a baby doll bottle, Joanne Bellamy, a local animal lover, stopped by on her way to Benji’s Bed and Breakfast, a dog grooming and boarding facility.

“I went in in tears,” Bellamy said.

At Benji’s, Bellamy told Charlotte Troy, the owner, about the puppies. Troy, a dachshund breeder, had a dog that had just weaned her litter.

“Because I had the female and she still had so much milk, I said, please, let’s try her,” Troy said.

Troy brought the puppies to her business and put them next to her dog, Cher. Cher cleaned off the pups, chewed off the umbilical cords and proceeded to treat them like her own.

“She’s a very good surrogate mother,” Troy said.

However, she’s a small breed and the puppies are a Labrador and rottweiler mix. So the staff at Benji’s is supplementing their feedings with formula and taking them home at night to feed them.

“They are ferociously hungry. They can’t settle down because they are just so hungry,” Troy said.

She thinks the pups were most likely born on Thursday since they are still deaf and haven’t open their eyes.

“I don’t know how they stayed alive in the dumpster,” Troy said. “They had no chance."


To donate money for the puppies’ health care, send checks to Benji’s at 295 Tiller Dr., Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

When the puppies are 8 weeks old, Troy said she’ll find them good homes.

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