Donna Lochmann, Stray Rescue of St. Louis’ Chief Life Saving Officer, received an emergency call one brisk February morning. She picked up her co-worker Natalie Thompson, and as they departed, Thompson spotted a small brown animal on a side street.
“Just down one of the side streets, Natalie noticed a dog,” Lochmann said. Lochmann did not want to halt the emergency call knowing the rescue would take a while, so they rushed off to the emergency, then came back to the spot where the stray was seen.
“After we got the first dog, we went back down the street where we’d found her earlier, but we didn’t see her anywhere,” Lochmann said. “Then we noticed her in an alleyway.”
She followed the dog until she came upon an abandoned multi-story building and adjacent field where the dog disappeared. Lochmann entered the building and climbed to the second floor in search of the dog. “There wasn’t a lot on the second floor,” Lochmann said. “But there was a blanket towards the middle, and I saw her lying there.”
Lochmann made eye contact and reached for her slip knot tool, realizing she did not have it. “I only had one slip lead with me, and it was on the dog in the Jeep,” Lochmann said.
Donna went back to the car, but upon returning, the dog was no where to be found. “Turns out there was a door on the second floor that led outside to the back part of the building,” Lochmann said. “I didn’t realize at first that you could get out that way, but she did.”
She then located the dog laying in the adjacent field and slowly approached the dog. “She wasn’t coming up to me and I didn’t want her to freak out and take off,” Lochmann said. “So I just kind of knelt down and started tossing Vienna sausages close to her."
“She followed that trail of Vienna sausages and finally came up to me,” Lochmann said. A little skittish, her reaction still conveyed more happiness than fear.
“Some dogs are more afraid of getting into the Jeep and letting me pick them up, but she put her feet up on the back of the Jeep and let me lift her in,” Lochmann said. “I feel like she was probably ready to go.”
The dog, now named Dodie, was taken to a local Veterinarian and let the team examine her with no objections. “She was super sweet,” Lochmann said. The dog was healthy, other than being underweight, and was put on a meal plan.
Dodie is now in foster care living her best life as she waits for her forever family! “She deserves it,” Lochmann said. “She really does.”
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