Delivering hope to abandoned puppies

March 27, 2019

“At first I just thought someone was littering,” says Ramon Hill.

The FedEx Express courier, a 23-year veteran at the company, was making his usual rounds on a rainy December day through the Dallas metro area, about midway through his 10-hour shift. Ahead of him in the gloom, he saw a black pickup truck. The driver slowed without stopping, the passenger door opened, and a large box flew out. It missed the curb and landed on the grass before toppling over, lid popping open.

A few moments later Hill passed the same spot and glanced at the discarded box. To his shock, the contents spilling out were three puppies, wriggling and stumbling around in the wet gutter. “It breaks your heart to see something like that,” he says.

As a dog owner and animal lover, his first instinct was to help the puppies. But his next delivery was an urgent one: An elderly customer needed her prescription medication. 

FedEx driver

Thinking fast, he pulled over and righted the box, returning the puppies — who were starting to shiver from the rain — to their makeshift shelter. He reclosed the top and poked air holes in the sides. “I was going to take a break after I delivered the lady’s meds and get right back to them,” he says.

Once the prescription was safely in his customer’s hands, he made his way back toward the puppies’ location. Before he got there, as luck would have it, he spotted a van from the local Balch Springs Shelter parked by the side of the road. Hill stopped and jumped out of his van.

“I think I scared the guy at first because I was so upset,” Hill laughs. “I told him the situation and that if he had something more urgent to take care of, I’d go get the puppies myself. But he said he was about to go on break himself.” Hill gave the animal control officer the location and the man took off before Hill could even get back in his own vehicle. By the time he returned to the spot, the officer was closing up his van. “He drove off before I could even go and talk to him,” Hill says. “But as long as the dogs were taken care of, I was cool. So I just went back to delivering packages.”

Back at Balch Springs Shelter, the puppies — luckily unhurt by their ordeal — were examined and cared for. “That driver did everything perfectly by notifying the proper channel,” says Animal Services Supervisor Vanessa Keeton. “We were very thankful.” She and her staff wished they knew the FedEx courier who had saved them, but in his haste the officer had forgotten to ask his name.

Keeton worked with a nonprofit called Pets Going Places, which transports dogs from overcrowded shelters in Dallas to states with a higher need for dogs. Pets Going Places contacted Fetch Wisconsin, a nonprofit animal rescue organization. Once Fetch had secured foster placements for the three dogs, they were transported to Wisconsin to await their forever homes.

About six weeks after first spotting the puppies, Hill got to learn what happened to them when the same animal control officer flagged him down. “He said he’d been looking for me ever since!” Hill says. “I told him I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing. No accolades were necessary.”

Luciana Gomez, board member for Pets Going Places, disagrees. “The fact that he stopped in the middle of his day to do this shows that he’s a really kind person. He got these puppies to a safe place. I don’t know if they would have survived otherwise, so that action made such a difference.”

Not only did they survive, the puppies — named Ursula, Carrie and Fredex — are happily settled in foster homes in Wisconsin, with adoptions already on the horizon.

puppy in cardboard box