MONROE, NC (WJZY) - Life on the streets has come to an end for a dog and her puppies in Monroe.
A local animal rescue group had been trying to capture the stray for months when suddenly she disappeared. They later found her, but soon realized she had a litter in hiding - underground.
The stray, known as "Ruby", stole the hearts of animal rescuers in Union County.
Ruby and her five pups are now resting comfortably in an environment much different than the one they're used to.
"The puppies came to me Sunday night. We rescued them out of the ditch Sunday afternoon," Karlei Horne said, who is fostering the puppies.
In dramatic cell phone video, shot by Danielle Spuler with South Dog Rescue, Ruby's 3-day-old pups were pulled one by one from an underground drainage ditch in a Monroe neighborhood.
Ruby was finally trapped a day later - a rescue Horne said was a long time coming.
"I've been trying to get Ruby along with Teresa and Lisa since February," Horne explained.
For nearly three months members of the group tried everything they could think of to capture Ruby.
"One lady in particular, her name is Lisa, really phenomenal, she had been feeding her, making sure she wasn't starving; trying to trap her into her fence or lure her in. And she just was super smart," Spuler said.
Too smart for her own good - Ruby kept evading neighbors. Then she turned up pregnant and when she later went into hiding Spuler said her rescue became vital.
"When she suddenly was off the radar, we knew the time is now. Because if we can get our hands on the puppies, she's going to want to be where they are," Spuler said.
With the help of a trap, donated by Union County Animal Control, the group was finally able to capture Ruby just one day after rescuing her pups from the ditch.
"She's a sweet dog. A little scared. But really happy to be back with her puppies for sure."
South Charlotte Dog Rescue hopes Ruby's story serves as an example of why it's so important to get your dogs spayed and neutered, especially in Union County with the number of stray animals growing to an overwhelming amount.
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