Skip to main content

In Winona, puppies rescued after deep freeze


With Friday's warmer temperatures came a couple of heartwarming animal survival stories.

The Winona Daily News reported on a stray dog spotted dragging a deer carcass near a trailer park about three weeks ago. Park owners and the Winona Area Humane Society tried their best to lure the animal to safety as temperatures dropped below zero.

Cheryl Polachek, a friend of the park owners, borrowed a live trap to catch the dog, but the blue and grey animal kept her distance.

Friday morning, Polachek got a message that the dog had been captured. She brought her to the Humane Society.

That's when rescuers discovered the dog was producing milk.

So Polachek leashed her up and brought her back to where she'd been found. The dog led Polachek up a trail, around a bluff, and then bolted under a trailer.

Polachek followed, tearing up as the mother dog immediately began nursing three wiggly puppies.

"She looked so relieved,"Polachek said. "I took my coat off and covered them."

They are safe and warm now at the Humane Society, where one of the workers said she would take them home until they are ready to be adopted.

The Courier of Northwestern Ohio reported a similar rescue story, this one involving a stray cat who spent the worst of the cold snap refusing to leave a middle school drain pipe. Residents nearby heard him crying.

Rescuers tried tuna, calling "kitty,kitty" and even an iPhone app that makes meowing sounds. The story attracted national attention as efforts to lure the cat intensified.

When he finally came out Friday morning, he was hypothermic, emaciated and covered in mud.

"“He was cold and lethargic. A lot of water is starting to run off, and he was soaked,” said Dana Berger, Hancock County Humane Society dog warden and humane officer.

By afternoon the cat, nicknamed "Piper," was accepting pats and food at the Humane Society. Rescuers estimated he was 12 years old and had had a rough life. He had a fractured leg and very little meat on his bones. He was neutered and declawed, though, so he'd been cared for at some point. They said many people had expressed interest in adopting him.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 7.59.52 AM

More than 2 years after announcing, Duck Donuts finally opens at MOA

The grand opening of the new location took place Wednesday.

unsplash - school girl students

St. Paul is closing 6 schools amid declining enrollment

The board revised the plan after the school communities voiced concerns.

Karl-Anthony Towns

X-rays negative after Karl-Anthony Towns takes scary fall

Towns crashed hard to the ground late in the game Wednesday night.

Minneapolis police

2 more homicides push Minneapolis closer to record set in 1995

The deadly shootings happened on the city's North Side Wednesday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.