Local rescue caring for homeless dog that had puppies on the streets of Toledo

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TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - A local rescue group is caring for a dog and her 11 puppies, just two days after the pups were born on the streets of Toledo. The dog belongs to a homeless woman, and the Lucas County Pit Crew has stepped in to help.

Brooke and her 11 puppies started the week on the streets of downtown Toledo, now they have a roof over their heads.

Jean Keating is the head of the Pit Crew. She got a call about Brooke on Monday morning. The dog and her pups were in a grassy area off Superior Street.

Jean knew she had to act quickly to get Brooke and her babies help, "People love their animals and they've lost their home and they don't want to lose their pets too. It's tough. people don't want to give up on their pets, and I certainly understand that connection."

The dogs were immediately taken to the West Toledo Animal Hospital for treatment. The puppies are doing well at this point.

Keating says Brooke is about 25 pounds underweight. She also had a number of medical issues that needed immediate attention, including an infection, "She's extremely thin. She has a variety of worms, and we're still waiting on her heartworm test. There is a good chance she is heartworm positive. She has no muscle mass. Her white cell count is also high. She is being treated with anti-biotics."

Dana Ward is helping take care of the dogs, "It's just something where you have a hard time sleeping at night because you worry about Brooke and her babies. She is a great mom. She does a wonderful job of taking care of them. She does not like to be away from them for very long. When I first saw Brooke she was laying down, so I didn't realize just how thin she is. We are all working hard to get her healthy again."

Dana has fostered more than 20 dogs in the last few years. She says this case is especially tough because of the circumstances, "There are a lot of people in that same situation as the homeless woman who had Brooke, and they don't get the help they need. Brooke got lucky and somebody called us and we were able to help. This story is part of a much bigger social issue facing this community and many other cities."

The puppies will go up for adoption in a couple months after they pass a vet check and are spayed or neutered.

Keating says the goal is to have Brooke fixed and get her back with her owner who is in the process of trying to get housing, "The hope is that Brooke will be healthy again in the next couple months, her owner will have housing and the two will be back together again."

Keating says vet bills for Brooke and her pups will likely be several thousand dollars. The Pit Crew is also caring for about 50 other dogs right now. The volunteer organization relies on donations, so they can always use things like supplies and money.

The rescue group is also always looking for people to foster the dogs. If you're interested in helping out, we've posted a link to the Pit Crew.

So what help is available for homeless pet owner? There are a number of resources including Humane Ohio, which offers spay-neuter surgery at a low-cost or even free in some cases. The clinic also operates a free pet food bank for anyone in need.

The Pit Crew and some other rescues are also able to help with the cost of getting your pets fixed. The best advice is to reach out to the organizations and ask for help.

There was a fair held in Toledo this past February for homeless pet owners. The hope is to hold similar events in the future.