Emmanuel began his puppy-hood in one of the most volatile apartment complexes in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He lived in a unit on an upper floor of the building, an eagle’s nest of sorts, cut off from the world below. His life was void of the simple joys of walking in the park or feeling the sun on his back. Though he began each day with the same hope and excitement that any puppy would, his hopes were often dashed and he would soon be whining from hunger, urinating on the floor and jumping on his people to try to get their attention. His sorrow and confusion began to crest when a fiery argument began in the apartment one night. Emmanuel had nowhere to hide. He was grabbed, carried into the bedroom and pitched through a hole at the back of the closet. The hole went past the interior walls and led several flights down to the very bottom of the building.
His family never came to check on his body to be sure that he was dead and not simply injured. For two weeks, day and night, Emmanuel yelped and tried to signal, “I’m not dead yet” to the world around. People walked in and out, to work and school, and none of them hesitated. Some of the building’s residents later claimed that they thought the sounds were coming from a cell phone ring-tone. Others just said they didn’t want to get involved. No one stopped to investigate. No one asked questions. No one lost sleep, except for Emmanuel.
We don’t know what finally prompted her to act, but some 14 days after the fall one of the female residents of the apartment building ran into animal activist Miriam Solainne at a department store and confided in her about the puppy. Miriam raced over to the address. She lifted the weak body of the puppy close to her chest. He looked like a pin cushion, completely covered in ant bites. He was dehydrated and barely conscious. Not knowing if he would take his final breath in her arms, Miriam had to try. She used spoonsful of Pedialyte and pancake syrup to try to stabilize his sugars until morning when the veterinary clinic would open.
Who Could She Turn To?
Though there was no way of knowing if the puppy would survive, Miriam wanted to try. She reached out for to Edi Vasquez of All Sato Rescue, a volunteer humane group on the island. Edi agreed to help with Emmanuel’s month long stay at the veterinary clinic, and before long the two women were celebrating daily victories as Emmanuel began gaining strength and doing the things that normal, healthy puppies should do. His first day without an IV.
His first bowl of kibble. His first walk on the grass. “I named him Emmanuel because he had every reason to die, but he fought for his life,” Miriam says. “Sometimes even when you have nothing and life itself is all there is, it’s worth the fight.”
World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals
Because of his indomitable spirit, Emmanuel has been chosen to kick off an international effort by rescue groups who are confronting a massive spring influx of orphaned, injured and abused baby animals in urgent need of care. The event is called the World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals.
Through the baby shower, more than 20 different rescue squads across the world (including All Sato Rescue in Puerto Rico) will receive funding through donations made to the Harmony Fund international rescue network.
Shower gifts, in the form of online donations, will pay for food, veterinary medicines, foster care, shelter care, anti-poaching teams, wildlife rehabilitation and spay/neuter for thousands upon thousands of animals who would not ordinarily have a slim chance of getting help. Several of the rescue squads to benefit from the baby shower are working in deeply impoverished areas and the lion’s share of their support this year will come from the Harmony Fund.