A few months ago, we fell in love with Fiona, the blind dog who melted our hearts with her courage. Fiona had been found in a trash heap in Los Angeles and was rescued by Hope For Paws, an organization run by Eldad Hagar and his wife, Audrey.
But last week, Hagar posted a new video on YouTube, in which he shared the heartbreaking story of Gaia and her three puppies.
Pregnant and suffering from a broken leg, Gaia had been abandoned in the "middle of nowhere" in central California. Against the odds, Gaia survived her injury and soon gave birth to three adorable female puppies.
However, Hagar told The Huffington Post the dogs' situation had become desperate as Gaia's injury continued to worsen.
"A couple of women had been giving food to the dogs, helping them survive," Hagar said. "But Gaia was in a lot of pain. Her leg was rotting. She would have needed amputation."
Hagar said he first learned of Gaia's plight from an email he received from the Bill Foundation earlier this month. Within hours, he had hopped in his car to retrieve the dogs, in the hopes that he -- with the help of the foundation, a non-profit based in Los Angeles -- might find them a better home.
"When I arrived…I spotted the puppies right away, but I couldn't find the mom. I went to check on the pups, gave them some food to make an initial contact with them and kept watching my back to make sure the mom doesn't come behind me to defend her puppies," he wrote on the Flickr page dedicated to the pups.
But a local man who was passing by in a truck soon told Hagar that Gaia had been killed in a hit-and-run accident. She had died just two hours before his arrival.
"It was a feeling I can't really explain. It was like a punch in the gut," Hagar told HuffPost.
After receiving the tragic news, Hagar drove to the site of the alleged accident to confirm what he had heard. He found Gaia there, just as the man had said.
"I told her I was sorry people did this. I promised her I would save her babies," Hagar wrote in the video.
Hagar spent the next seven hours attempting to coax the puppies out of hiding. Scared and wary of humans, the pups had hidden in two different storm drains and Hagar had to use different methods to lure each one out.
At one point, Hagar -- in desperation -- retrieved Gaia's dead body from the road. One of her puppies, thrilled to see her mother, immediately leapt out of the drain.
"Even in death, Gaia helped me save her baby," Hagar said in the clip.
Hagar eventually got all three puppies -- now named Sydney, Matilda and Gabriella -- to safety. They have since visited a veterinarian, who has determined that they are in good health.
"They're not traumatized. They're totally happy and healthy now. It's so amazing how happy they are," Hagar said. "It's so rewarding to see them like this."
New homes for the three puppies have yet to be confirmed, but Hagar said he's confident the dogs will be welcomed into loving families soon.
For more information about the puppies, Hopes For Paws and the Bill Foundation, visit Eldad Hagar's Flickr page for the puppies here.
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