The shelter knew that Ava was pregnant but, sadly, that fact didn't keep her from being put on death row earlier this month. Taking care of an expectant mother dog and her soon-to-be-born babies isn't always possible for shelters already short on space, so they are routinely euthanized instead. Fortunately for Ava, a staffer took pity on her and sought outside help.
That's when Midwest Animal ResQ (MARQ), a nonprofit based in Missouri, learned of the pregnant dog's sad fate.
"The animal control officer said we were the last rescue group on her list to call," Erin Morse, director of MARQ, told The Dodo. "Otherwise she was out of options."
MARQ decided to rescue Ava. Little did they know, however, just how many little lives they were saving along with her.