Dog Escapes Kennel to Comfort Crying Puppies

Story at-a-glance -

  • Maggie, an Australian Shepherd mix, is a very special dog with a very strong maternal instinct
  • While staying at a pet motel, Maggie managed to escape her kennel to find and comfort a pair of frightened rescue puppies
  • Maggie is now back in her forever home, and “her” puppies have found homes as well

By Dr. Becker

Maggie is an Australian Shepherd mix who had recently been separated from her litter of puppies and put up for adoption.

She quickly found a new forever home, but soon after, her guardians boarded her at Barker's Pet Motel and Grooming in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada while they went on vacation.

Maggie Escapes Kennel to Investigate Crying Puppies

Maggie had been at Barker’s about a week when the kennel, which also houses overflow rescues for the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) and the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS), took in 9-week-old puppies Hannah and Kari.

That same evening Sandra Aldred, owner of Barker’s, was out to dinner with her family. She was using her cell phone to keep an eye on a live feed of the surveillance cameras at the pet motel, and she noticed something odd.

Maggie was out of her kennel and sitting in the hallway in front of the kennel where the new puppies had been placed. She walked back and forth a bit and visited neighboring kennels, but she kept returning to stand at the puppies’ kennel.

"We watched her on the cameras and she went straight around and she found their room,” Aldred told CBC News. “She paid them a lot of attention and you could see her little tail wagging. And she'd do the little bow down to them and poke them through the chainlink gate of their room.”

“She just decided that was where she was going to stay until we came to get her," said Aldred. "It was really sweet. She just had to be with those puppies."1

If you’re wondering how Maggie escaped, when Aldred reviewed the full surveillance footage later, it showed Maggie pushing aside the water dish built in to her kennel door, and wiggling her way out through the opening to search for the crying puppies!

Maggie Comforts Puppies Hannah and Kari

When Aldred got back to Barker’s after dinner, Maggie greeted her as soon as she opened the door to the kennel area. Maggie was obviously very happy and excited, and led Aldred back to the puppies’ kennel. It was if the dog was saying, “I really need to meet these puppies,” said Aldred.

You can see the kennel surveillance video here:


Aldred opened the kennel so Maggie could go in and meet Hannah and Kari, while she stood by to carefully monitor the interaction. Aldred quickly realized she had nothing to worry about.

"They were just all so happy to be together,” said Aldred. “She [Maggie] was nuzzling them really gently and nudging them, and then she laid down and let them cuddle with her. The puppies needed her and she needed them. It was pretty perfect."

Maggie was allowed to stay with the puppies overnight, and Aldred found them still cuddled up together the next morning.

Maggie Goes Home, and Soon, So Do “Her” Pups

Later the same day, Maggie’s guardians came to collect her from Barker’s. When Aldred told them about Maggie’s passion for the puppies, they weren’t surprised. Apparently, after Maggie weaned her own puppies at the shelter from which they adopted her, she took an interest in another litter of puppies at the shelter.

Maggie went home with her owners, and Hannah and Kari got lots of extra attention from the Barker’s staff. The pups were even taken home by staffers at night to give them exposure to a family environment. Maggie’s guardians brought her back to Barker’s a few days later to visit Hannah and Kari again. They had a sweet reunion, and I’m happy to report both puppies have also found homes with adoptive families.