Barberton, OH – Homeless man saves 5 pups tossed in river!

Homeless man hero for 5 puppies

He saves sack full of newborns thrown into Tuscarawas River in Barberton. Humane Society takes 3; neighbor, 2

By Connie Bloom
Beacon Journal staff writer

A red-headed homeless man who rides his bike all around Barberton is being called a hero for rescuing a sack full of newly born puppies from the Tuscarawas River on Monday.

”You could hear the yelping real bad and Donnie jumped in to see what it was,” said Debbie Smith, as she was surrounded by friends and family in her front yard in the Snydertown neighborhood.

”He was wet up to his knees and used his T-shirt to dry them off as good as he could.”

Smith doesn’t know the man’s real name, but he is a familiar sight in town and locals call him Donnie. He wears a heavy beard and rides a bicycle with a child trailer in back.

”He saved their little puppy lives,” Smith said.

The rescue began around 10:30 a.m., after Donnie spotted a man driving a green Chevy Cavalier or Ford Tempo toss something into the river, said neighbor Deanna Williams, who chatted with him in passing.

”I said hi to Donnie and he said, look what they did — somebody threw them in the river.”

Five squealing black puppies that still had their umbilical cords intact were pulled from the river. Their eyes were still closed and they appeared healthy. They eagerly took to a miniature baby bottle after a few training sessions.

Smith and Williams said they teamed up to alert police and local rescue shelters. Police told them they couldn’t help without a license plate number. Neighbors are watching for the green car.

The Humane Society of Greater Akron picked up three of the pups for safe keeping.

Smith kept two. She swaddled them in a towel and feeds them using a tricky double baby-bottle technique.

The squirming puppies make a ton of noise in a chorus of high-pitched squeals and squeaks.

A softie when it comes to creatures, Smith already has a full house with an adult Jack Russell and two cats.

”I’ve never been able to say no to animals,” she said.

If the owner didn’t want puppies, he should have had the parents spayed and neutered, she said.

”Donnie should get a medal,” said neighbor Chick Pettitt, known as the Colonel. ”It’s wrong to take puppies before they are weaned.”

Article taken from Akron Beacon Journal.

I heard this story and could only think of the poor little puppies suffering horrible, painful deaths in that cold river. Thank goodness for people like Donnie. If only most people wouldn’t just turn the other way.


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