Skip to main content

Volunteer rescues dog found locked in crate, left in St. Paul alley during frigid weather

The pup was skin and bones, and had been out there during frigid weather.
Rosabella, before being rescued.

Rosabella, before being rescued.

If it weren't for an observant volunteer, Rosabella almost certainly would have frozen to death.

The woman, who helps out at Ruff Start Rescue, was driving down an alley on the east side of St. Paul around 9 a.m. Dec. 7. when she spotted a small crate with a trash bag on top and an odd shape inside.



It was, to her horror, a dog. All white, curled up in the corner, obviously malnourished and apparently left outside in single-digit weather overnight, Azure Davis, executive director of Ruff Start Rescue, told Bring Me The News.

The volunteer immediately took the dog into her car to get it help, with Davis describing the abandoned animal as "skin and bones," weighing only about 19 pounds when she should be 45. There are also signs the dog, 1-3 years old, has been mistreated and locked in a kennel most of her life.

"After doing rescue for 12 years now, I've had to learn to give people the benefit of the doubt, assume they are trying to do the right thing or didn't have the resources, etc. Many times, this is the case," Davis wrote in a Facebook post. "However, this is a situation where I cannot and will not believe that. There is no excuse to justify this behavior. This is straight up animal abuse and it makes me sick."

Davis told Bring Me The News the incident was reported to Animal Control in St. Paul.

A spokesperson for the city said Animal Control is aware of the situation, though as of Monday morning there is not an open criminal investigation case with the St. Paul Police Department. Anyone with tips about the dog, its previous owner or any other relevant information is asked to call 651-266-1100.

A few days after being rescued.

A few days after being rescued.

Six days after the rescue, things are looking up for the dog, who has been named Rosabella.

By Dec. 10 she had gained 10 pounds. She's also being cared for by a foster, and recently was gifted a pink sweater. The goal eventually is adoption, but not until she is healthy and stable, Davis wrote.

"The dog who has endured hell and has been severely neglected by humans but based on her personality, you would never know!" Davis wrote on Facebook. "She is the sweetest and most appreciative little girl. Her sweet personality is really starting to shine through."

Rosabella in the car.

Rosabella in the car.

Ruff Start is a nonprofit animal rescue organization which provides veterinary care to stray, abandoned, neglected and surrendered pets while relying on a network of volunteers to provide foster homes for most of the rescued animals.

Ruff Start says it has helped more than 3,300 animals this year, and asked for donations to help support Rosabella and its mission.

"It's nothing short of a miracle that a Ruff Start foster happened to be driving through the alley and noticed her," Ruff Start wrote. "Now, Rosabella is in a safe, warm, and loving foster home. "

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-27 at 9.15.45 PM

Buckeyes crash the glass, fend off Gophers

E.J. Liddell dominated in the paint to help No. 16 Ohio State.

nicolas blouin flickr fire hose

Fire departments decry drivers running over hoses, endangering crews

It happened in two separate Northland cities this week.

All Energy Solar - Bringing Panels to Roof

All Energy Solar reaches growth milestones with higher goals yet for 2022

Minnesota solar company continues to thrive through building a strong workforce

Royal Canadian Mounted Police maintoba crossing crop

Authorities ID family found frozen to death at MN-Canada border

They're still trying to unravel how they got there and who might have helped them.


Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.


Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.


kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.


Dog dies after being found shot, left in ditch

Authorities are asking for help figuring out who did it.

The 'highly contagious' dog flu is popping up in Minnesota again

What canine influenza is, and what state animal officials are doing about it.

Ritzie pitbull

Rescued pitbull suspected of being used in dog fighting ring

The dog is on the road to recovery thanks to a nearby animal shelter.

Facebook - Gabriel original photo - Dunn County Sheriff's Office

'Justice' for severely malnourished dog could come this week

The trial of Gabriel's former owner begins this week.

Sheriff: Man stalked woman, stole dog and left it in the cold

It happened in Fosston in northwest Minnesota.