It was a miraculous Christmas day for five puppies who were found freezing in Canada and given a second chance at life.
Christmas time can make for a busy season for animal rescuers, and no one knows that better than Tessa Lee, who runs intake at Whitecourt Homeless Animal Rescue Foundation (WHARF) in Edmonton, Canada.
Lee said in an interview with CBC News, "It seems like every Christmas Eve, there's an emergency. My family's already prepared to have an emergency animal at Christmas dinner with us."
As Lee was leaving work for the day on December 23, she received a call from a woman about 50 miles away, who had spotted five underweight puppies freezing outside in the cold. Lee rushed over to find the pups struggling to stay alive, and took them in immediately. Other puppies were found on the property who, sadly, did not make it.
Thanks to Lee's warm home, constant bottle feeding, and a visit from an on-call veterinarian, four out of the five puppies bounced back very quickly. One little girl named Ruby, however, was fighting for her life, unable to lift even her head up off the ground. Regardless, Lee kept her hopes up and tended to the pup round the clock.
On Christmas Day, Ruby took her first steps since being welcomed into Lee's home.
"It's a Christmas miracle. She wants to live, and that's a big thing."
The five puppies will stay with Lee and continue to put on weight and get their strength before being made available for adoption. In addition to the festive five, WHARF takes in around 400 animals a year, each searching for their rightful forever home.
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This article was originally published December 30, 2017.