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In Winona, puppies rescued after deep freeze

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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.

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