The Story of Chesty & Murph

A story from our Executive Director and Founder – her experience over the last 24 hours.


Last night, I received a phone call from a local vet clinic. They asked if they could give my number to a local who needed help, who had been calling around to any and every place open at this hour, looking for assistance with two puppies. I felt I could help, Ruff Start Rescue could help, and I knew our fantastic staff members could help. So I gave them my number.

Here is what I learned: Earlier in the day, a good Samaritan was driving down a gravel road in the Cambridge, MN, area and witnessed someone dumping two emaciated puppies on the side of the road. The vehicle sped off before he was able to get the license plate because he was too busy trying to collect the puppies and get them to warmth and safety in his vehicle. Fortunately, this good Samaritan was in the right place at the right time.

Fast forward to 9:30 pm, and they were in my basement. My intention of having a phone call and walking them through our intake process quickly escalated to me driving to pick them up and bring them home. The finder didn’t have a heated area to keep them in, and I couldn’t imagine their skinny little bodies being cold all night (they didn’t want that either, which is why they were making call after call).

Our amazing veterinary team at RSR squeezed them in for an appointment this morning. After our medical director and vet techs examined them, they found that both dogs are incredibly malnourished, emaciated, have worms, anemic, covered in fleas, and have stunted growth. Based on their small body size, they look to be the size of 4-month-old puppies, but after looking at their teeth, they are 8+ months old! They are incredibly skinny, have scars all over their bodies, and their nails are SO long. The little tan and white baby boy has dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), and their bloodwork isn’t happy. We hope that with proper nutrition, love, and some time, we will see many of these issues reside.

Despite their neglected past, they are in good spirits, and their tails don’t stop wagging. They are the sweetest boys ever! We will do everything we can to get them healthy and on the road to recovery. We have secured foster homes today, and they are headed there as I type this.

Since my fiancé got to help in the rescue efforts, I asked him to name the puppies. He is a Marine and Veteran and had a great idea. In honor of the Marine Corps’ birthday tomorrow, and Veteran’s Day on Friday, we have named these dogs Chesty, after Chesty Puller, a Marine Corps Lieutenant General, and Murph, after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. They will be available for adoption once we get them healthier and settled.

We will update you as we know more, but please keep these two sweet boys in your thoughts.
What can you do to help? Educating and spreading awareness about Ruff Start Rescue and the hundreds of other MN rescues is critical. No animal should be dumped and left to fend for itself. We have resources. We are here to help in any way possible.
Further x-rays and testing will be needed, and we will need funds for their veterinary expenses. Please consider donating if you can. I appreciate your support and for making our mission possible.