When Eldad, the founder of Hope For Paws, received a call informing him that a bonded pair of Poodles was living under the I-5 freeway in California, he and another passionate rescuer named Vanessa didn’t hesitate to head out there to save them.
Despite having to crawl through several sewers and squat in garbage, they were willing to do whatever it took to save this scared and struggling set of pups.
The first thing they did when they arrived on the scene was scope out the petrified pups. When they shined a flashlight down into the tunnels, they saw evidence that people were leaving them food scraps. Just beyond, they spotted the dogs. But the pups immediately ran away. People may have been leaving them food, but that didn’t make them any less scared and skittish.
They had been struggling to survive on scraps for several weeks.
So, Vanessa and Eldad blocked one end of the tunnel and then drove to the other end of the freeway. Together, they crawled under the expressway and through the storm drain tunnels to find them. Dirt, debris, and garbage littered the dark tunnels, but they were able to corner the canines and attempt to earn their trust.
The male of the pair was one protective pooch and even stepped in front of his sister to shield her from potential danger. So the rescuers used a trusted trick: hamburgers. They were hopeful the delicious treat would help show that they meant the pair of pups no harm.
While the hamburgers weren’t as helpful as they had hoped, the rescuers were willing to be extremely patient. Instead, they offered them love and affection. It took quite a while, and they had to hang out amongst the piles of garbage to calm them down and convince them to come.
But eventually, they were able to earn their trust and take them out of the tunnels. That, too, was a slow process and took a ton of patience for them to make their way back to the car. The rescuers had to keep stopping to show the male that his sister was still there.
Once they were safely out of the tunnels, the pair of pups were bathed, groomed, and showered with even more love. Suddenly, they were completely different dogs! No longer were they snappy and scared; they were affectionate and playful.
Then, the family that had been feeding them for so many weeks was able to come and meet them, and the pair of pups, now named Pepsi and Cola, got to give them a proper thank you.
You can watch the video that follows the rescuers down into the sewers and shows the entirety of their rescue below.