Two young men from Canton were headed out to go fishing near the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday, September 5, 2014. They heard a sound they thought might be a kitten, but soon discovered seven newborn puppies, umbilical cords still attached, that had been tied in a pillowcase and tossed out. Noah Rogers and Hunter Robinson gathered the puppies up in the pillowcase and tried to keep them warm while they waited for help to arrive. There was no cell service, so they had to flag down cars and ask the drivers to call Animal Control when they were able. In about 1-1/2 hours, Officer Frank Goodson from Haywood County Animal Services arrived and took the puppies to the county shelter. There Assistant Director Leyah Pilkington took over care of the puppies, and took them home overnight. They were brought to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation the next day.
Operations Manager, Debi Slater, got busy on the phone trying to find foster homes. Within a few hours, Janice Jobson took three of the puppies and Christy Swanton took four. Puppies were on a feeding schedule of every two hours around the clock, so this was no easy task! Unfortunately one of the female puppies who was smaller and just didn’t have the resources to survive passed away.
When the story hit the news, the two rescuers, whose path had led them to the puppies, came forward. Sarge’s named two of the puppies in honor of their heroes, one named Noah Blue, and one named Hunter. Noah adopted the remaining female puppy, called Dottie, a few weeks later..
The support Sarge’s received when the story became public was phenomenal. Nancy Bulluck, Sarge’s Founder and Administrative Manager at the time, recalls receiving calls, messages, and donations, from all over the world. These puppies may have been carelessly discarded like so much trash by someone who was hardhearted, but that person inadvertently created an opportunity for many more people to show loving regard for these innocent babies.