Suffering and tragedy are nothing new to our human experience, but something happens to us when we see helpless animals thrown out as though they are merely garbage.
Hearing the cries of two puppies in the distance, a team of Airsoft players from Antofagasta, Chile who had geared up to play one afternoon found the puppies stranded in a tar pit, struggling for their lives.
Without a moment of hesitation, they immediately sprang into action to begin rescue efforts. Little did they know they would become heroes that day.
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When the sound of yelping hit their ears the nearby Airsoft players went towards the cries for help. The puppies were submerged in a tar pit, distressed and fighting for air.
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The puppies had been tossed into the tar pit by some horrible person – they were completely covered from head to paws in the sticky substance.
Thinking quickly, they tried to lasso the canines. Due to the thickness of the tar; the puppies felt like they had 1,000 pounds of weight pulling them down. As the rescue crew pulled, they yelped in pain, as their necks stretched.
Keeping a slight tension on the rope to keep the puppies from sinking the rescuers quickly found nearby tires to help get themselves closer to the puppies to pull them out.
Some continued to try to lasso the second dog as others hunted for materials to build a bridge to the puppies.
The tar was so sticky and thick that even the tires began to sink into the ground.
Using long planks one rescuer tries to get under the puppy so maybe he can walk out.
The two small puppies can barely breath; with tar almost above the head of the second one.
With several of the team holding on to their friend by the belt loops a rescuer reaches out into the put.
Bit by bit they pull the puppies closer and closer to the shore line – it’s a slow process; because the thick sticky tar fights them for every inch.
Finally within arms reach the rescuer tries to heave the first dog out of the tar pit.
As before the dog yelps in pain as he feels himself being sucked down by the weighty tar. He snaps at as rescuer and he is forced to let the dog go.
Realizing pulling the dog out is not possible the rescuers change strategy again and try to push the dog towards the edge of the pit.
These two little puppies may look still; but underneath the tar they are frantically moving their tiny paws to try and save their lives. Swimming to the edge with their rescuers encouragement.
When the puppies are pulled to the shoreline; their thick black glossy coating makes them look almost statuesque. One Canine has found his feet at the edge as the the team reach out for the second.
Finally getting out, the poor puppy breathes s sigh of relief. But he is not out of the woods yet. Once exposed to air – the tar can dry rapidly leading to extreme health problems.
The Airsoft team works hard at scraping as much of the tar off the puppies as possible with their bare hands – they have to work quickly.
The tar comes off in thick clumps – these puppies are on the road to recovery already thanks to these heroes.
One of the puppies tries wagging his tail to show his appreciation to his rescuers; sadly the weight of the tar on him makes this difficult for now.
Two of the Airsoft Players take turns pulling clumps of black tar off of one of the puppies.
The other puppy just lays there – still clearly traumatized by his near death experience.
They make sure to pet the little puppy while they clean him off; even though he probably can’t feel it underneath his coating of tar.
While one Airsoft Player pets the puppy to try and keep him calm; the other gently massages large handfuls of tar from his paws.
With time running out; the two helpless puppies were rushed to nearby rescue group “Gatos Abandonados Antofagasta” (Abandoned Cats Antofagasta) to get the rest of the tar off of them.
Volunteers come forward to the shelter in order to help out the two small dogs.
They put the tar covered puppies into a tiled bathroom and set up 5 gallon buckets to begin their process of cleaning them up.
The two small puppies have been through so much already, you can tell by the look in their eyes how thankful they are to be alive. But time is of the essence as tar can cause blindness and respiratory distress.
Better days await these pups as slowly but surely they become less covered in tar.
Once the two puppies had been cleaned off; they are no longer identical – they are well on their way to becoming two clean, happy puppies.
This one half of the lucky puppy duo turned out to have a dark coat; and was given the name “Lancelot”.
The other half of puppy duo was named Laica, who had a lighter coat hidden underneath all of that tar.
“Lancelot” and “Laica” not only look better; but they feel 100% better with their new lease on life – but they’re not out of the woods yet.
Lancelot and Laica were happy to be rescued – but something else was wrong.
These pups had contracted canine distemper – but they were able to pull through and survive thanks to more heroes who donated to help them.
The two dogs have a new lease on life – but they still face many dangers.
Exposure to tar can cause many health related problems that may not show up until later on; so the puppies had to be observed for a while.
These two containers are filled with the tar that came off of these two young puppies. That is a lot of tar!
Eating well and resting every day; the puppies continue to get better and better until one day, they’re ready to leave the shelter.
They have an emotional goodbye – everyone fell in love with the dogs and they wanted to make sure they went to a good home.
Once they were clear of danger; the staff at the shelter and the volunteers were able to begin the next step of getting them a “forever home.”
After already going through so much, these puppies were more than relieved to able to find a place to call home.
Lancelot and Laica would both go on to be featured on local television; and then adopted out to the same home (so they could stick together).
Animal rescuers went to the area where the dogs were found and discovered six more dogs dead in a neighboring tar pit. It was suspected someone threw the dogs into the pits and authorities investigated the incident. Officials also worked on spreading awareness to Chileans about animal abuse.
Animal cruelty is a terrible thing – it is only because of the heroic acts of the Airsoft team that heard their cries for help that these puppies lived another day.
The memory of being submerged in tar, fighting for their lives is one that will certainly not be forgotten.
What will also not be forgotten is the heroic acts by these brave people who took the time to save two small puppies.
We really hope you enjoyed the beautiful story of Lucia and Lancelot. Click here for more wonderful Animal Stories.