Hikers Stumble Upon Box In The Woods With A Grim Note On The Side And Shattering Contents Within

In the isolated woods and open ranches of Texas, hunters can expect to find game aplenty. Animals like white-tailed deer trot gleefully through tall grass, and desert sheep navigate the mountain ranges. But in 2016, a hunter and his wife stumbled across something no wildlife guide could have prepared them for.

The two had been hiking in woods about two hours outside Dallas, Texas, when they noticed a cardboard box tucked among some foliage. Curious, they opened it—and were shocked at what they found. Inside the box they saw the darkest aspects of human cruelty…

Just after Christmas 2016, a hunter and his wife decided to hike through the woods about two hours outside Dallas, Texas, when they came across something strange. There, sitting in the lush green foliage, was a peculiar cardboard box.

Scrawled across the side of the box was a single phrase, a simple set of instructions: shoot me. Curious, the hunter and his wife cautiously investigated the abandoned box’s contents—and were instantly horrified.

Inside stood six tiny, emaciated, one-month-old puppies clustered together, soaked in their own urine. Whoever had abandoned these puppies left them no food or water. By the looks of it, these pups were not going to survive much longer.

The hunter recognized that, and to ease the canine’s sufferings, he suggested they follow the instructions on the box as an act of mercy. His wife, though, was not ready to give up on the puppies. So she made a phone call.

The wife called her husband’s aunt, who in turn relayed the news to a woman named Karen Rene’e, a volunteer with the Underdog Project. That was the phone call that would make all the difference.

A non-profit based in Texas, the Underdog Project sought to provide medical care and homes for abused and abandoned dogs. If anyone could save these suffering pups, it was the Underdog Project.

The Underdog Project / Facebook

Time was of the essence. The hunter and his wife quickly delivered the puppies to the aunt, who drove to a McDonald’s parking lot. There, with the puppies in tow, she met with Karen Rene’e.

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“The aunt told me she did not want the expense or commitment [to take care of the puppies],” Karen said. She “simply didn’t have the resources.” Still, it was “the right thing to do” to try and get the puppies the help they needed. But was it too late?

“Just looking at the puppies, anyone could say that they were really sick,” Karen said. She rushed them to Underdog Project veterinarians who gave the pups an examination. Unsurprisingly, their prognoses weren’t good…

Leslie Ysuhuaylas / Facebook

The smallest had her tail halfway chewed off; another had an infected bite on her face. To give them a little boost in their fight against the odds, Karen named the six puppies after Greek gods: Aries, Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, Atlas, and Hera. But would they be as strong and resilient as their namesakes?

Three of the pups—Aries, Aphrodite, and Athena—had contracted coccidia, a bacterial parasite. They were weak and couldn’t stand. Emergency veterinarians placed them on a blood plasma drip, but it sadly wasn’t enough…

Leslie Ysuhuaylas / Facebook

Aphrodite and Athena failed and tragically, their sufferings caught up to them. Aries, meanwhile, fought hard for his life. He’d lost two siblings, but at least things were looking up for the poor pooch.

Leslie Ysuhuaylas / Facebook

Aries left emergency care and joined Apollo, Atlas, and Hera at Karen’s house, where she fostered the four remaining puppies. But the puppy still showed signs of his previous trauma.

“He is quieter, sweeter, and more of a lap dog now than the others,” Karen said of Aries. Though his dramatic brush with death mellowed his demeanor, Aries still carved out a happy life for himself and his siblings.

Apollo, Atlas, and Aries always found themselves in the midst of puppy shenanigans. “The three boys love to play tag and occasionally get stuck under the sofa,” Karen said, “where they cry like babies until we help them out.” But the dogs did more than just play…

The four pups took to Karen’s adopted daughter, Blakeleigh, who suffered from multiple sclerosis and was blind. She, like the pups, had suffered—and the teeny dogs seemed to recognize that.

“The dogs think Blakeleigh is their mother,” Karen said. Blakeleigh and the puppies comforted each other as they faced their respective challenges. Meanwhile, Karen fell for one of the pups—Hera, who was half-blind.

“The day we got them, I [thought] she was going to die,” Karen explained of little Hera. “I carried her around in my sports bra for nearly three weeks. She was always so cold and tiny.” All four dogs developed a need for physical affection.

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“They can’t stand to be by themselves and snuggle in ‘twosies,'” Karen pointed out. And when the pups would fall asleep in Karen or Blakeleigh’s arms, they would nurse gently on their fingertips!

It was an amazing feat that even four of these dogs made it to adoption. Given the state they were found in, they certainly didn’t seem long for the world. But a few women who dared to do the right thing—and ignore that cruel sign on the box—gave these dogs a chance at a happy life!

It would have been easy for the hunter and his wife to leave these puppies in the box. Thankfully, they did the right thing and gave the little pooches a chance at a happy life.

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