For one Colorado man, it all started when he heard a strange and distressful noise coming from a nearby semi-truck. Unfortunately, the sound was about to take him directly into a dark situation, one he wasn’t exactly prepared for.
While he didn’t give his name to the news reporters, this man was all too willing to share his story. For the sake of the tale, the man is going to be known as “Mike.”
Mike Was Tire Shopping In Commerce City
This story all started one night at a tire shop about 15 minutes outside Denver, in a small suburb town called Commerce City. On a chilly and quiet October evening, Mike was browsing the tire selection.
But there was something he wasn’t expecting. While Mike was there, he heard a strange noise coming from nearby. It sounded like it was coming from near one of the semi-trucks outside of the shop.
No One Else Was Around
Even though the wind was howling outside, it didn’t take much for Mike to hear what can best be described as distress. So, he went to investigate, not entirely sure what he was going to find near the truck.
After looking around, Mike noticed that there was no one nearby. It was 2020, so state-wide restrictions had most people at home. Well, that, and the 19-degree weather wasn’t exactly what one would call “favorable.”
It Was Up To Mike To Locate The Noise
With no one else on the streets or around the shop, Mike knew it was up to him to figure out the source of the noise. His need to act was very strong, especially once he figured out what had been making the distressful noise.
Mike followed the sad cries to the back of a semi-truck. After a bit of searching, Mike found the source of the noise, confirming his initial suspicions.
Finally, He Found The Source Of The Cries
After searching around the semi-truck for a little while and following the cries of what Mike could only suspect was an animal of some kind, he finally found what he was looking for. Under the truck, in one of the tires, was a tabby cat.
Well, “cat” is probably too old a term for the small creature. It was definitely a tiny kitten. And the worst part was, the poor thing was frozen to the metal part of the tire rim.
Mike Knew He Had To Do Something
The autumn Colorado temperature was so cold that the poor kitten had actually frozen to the metal. In normal circumstances, a kitten this young didn’t really stand a chance without its mother.
Now, throw in the twist of the poor creature being without a mother and stuck to a freezing piece of metal, and Mike was definitely in the middle of a situation he didn’t know how to fix. He did know one thing, though. He had to help.
His Plan Involved Hot Water
Mike wanted nothing more than to get the tiny, frozen kitten to safety. And, with any luck, get it back to its rightful home. It was just a matter of figuring out how to actually do just that.
That’s when he came up with a plan. He ran back to the shop to get some warm water, thinking his best plan of attack was going to be melting the ice. Too bad that was way easier said than done.
It Was A Very Delicate Process
The thing with melting ice with warm water is that Mike had to be ridiculously careful not to burn the kitten. It was going to be an extremely delicate process, and Mike was all by himself.
Not only did he have to get the kitten out of its dire situation without further injuring it, but he had to make sure the kitten didn’t sprint away after being freed. Yeah, it was a difficult situation.
He Began To Apply Warm Water Around The Paws
With all four paws and its tail frozen to the metal tire rim, Mike knew he had to act quickly and yet very carefully, so he didn’t further injure the kitten. So, he began the process, slowly and methodically thawing out the animal’s paws one by one by dabbing warm water on the ice with a towel.
Then, with another towel, he tried to keep the shivering kitten as warm as possible. It was a long process, and Mike was running out of time.
It Was A Long Process
The poor kitten was shivering uncontrollably from the freezing outdoor temperatures. But Mike knew one wrong move would be horrible for the pads on the kitten’s little paws. So, he worked fast but not so fast where he might make a mistake.
Mike wasn’t about to leave the little tabby kitten alone in the freezing weather. He continued to work, hoping that what he was doing was going to be enough to free the kitten.
30 Minutes Later, The Kitten Was Free
A half-hour later and Mike had successfully freed the tiny, frozen kitten from the metal tire rim. But he wasn’t in the clear yet. Who knows how long the animal was outside in these temperatures.
If he had to guess, he’d expect that hypothermia was setting in fast. He needed to get the kitten some medical help if it was going to survive the rest of the night. Mike bundled the kitten up in a blanket and took off.
Mike Knew Where To Take The Kitten
Having no clue how long the kitten was out in the elements, Mike knew he had to get some medical help. The frostbite was definitely already negatively affecting the small animal. Who knew what else could possibly be wrong.
Cruising through the streets of Colorado, Mike knew exactly where he should take the tiny frozen kitten. It was just a matter of getting there in time. So, he drove as fast as he could.
The Dumb Friends League Is Anything But Dumb
Mike brought the tiny kitten to a Denver-based animal shelter called the Dumb Friends League. There, Mike was certain the animal was going to get the help it needed to get healthy.
Filled with volunteers who want nothing more than to shelter animals and help them thrive, Mike was sure there was someone inside who would be able to help his new friend. The Dumb Friends League has been known to perform some live-saving operations, after all!
The Tabby Was Left In The Staff’s Care
Bringing the kitten inside, Mike had no choice but to leave it in the care of the professionals. Hopefully, they’d be able to get the cat to a healthy state once it stopped shivering from the cold and shock of the near-death situation.
The veterinary staff took their time, wanting to make sure they did everything in their power to get the tiny kitten back in tip-top shape. Unfortunately, it was going to take some time before it was back on its feet.
Mike Was A Hero And The Tabby Was Recovering
Thankfully, things went smoothly once the kitten’s intense shivering calmed down. The staff was able to run some tests. They showed that the only major health concern was actually the frostbite on the kitten’s paws.
Mike had saved the kitten just in time. If the tiny animal were outside in the elements for much longer, he probably wouldn’t have survived. Mike was pretty much a hero, and the kitten was well on her way to recovery.
He Was Named Xerxes, After The Persian King
After a thorough examination, the Dumb Friends League’s veterinary staff determined that the tiny tabby was a solid five weeks old. It’s a miracle he survived in the harsh winter conditions for as long as he did.
Even so, he had to remain in the shelter under observation. In light of his temporary home, the staff named the tabby Xerxes. And while the tabby most definitely wasn’t an eight-foot-tall Persian king, he was one tough cookie.
Xerxes Was Becoming Healthy, Playing With The Staff
Well, the tiny kitten definitely earned his name because, within a few days, Xerxes was making remarkable strides. He was becoming more active, playful, and the frostbite on the bottom of his paws was all but a distant memory (or nightmare).
But his journey wasn’t over quite yet. Now it was up to Mike and the Dumb Friends League to find the stray a fur-ever home. That’s most definitely easier said than done!
The Shelter Was Xerxes’ New Home For A Time
First, the shelter had to wait a few weeks for any sort of adoption. Xerxes was only five weeks, way too young to move out of a shelter and into the home of a new family. So, he found himself in a temporary situation with around-the-clock care, something a newborn needs.
The thing is, there was always someone who wasn’t too far away from Xerxes. Someone who wanted to make sure he was getting the best care possible.
At Eight Weeks Old, Xerxes Was Ready For Fur-Ever
While the frostbite on Xerxes’ paws was all but healed, he was still very small and weak. Staying at the shelter was the right plan for the newborn. But once he turned eight weeks old, the shelter volunteers knew Xerxes was ready to move into his fur-ever home.
The good news is that finding a family to adopt the tabby wasn’t going to be an issue. The shelter knew the perfect candidate!
Mike Was All Too Eagar To Take Xerxes Home
When Xerxes was ready to move out of the shelter and into his fur-ever, he probably didn’t expect to find himself back in the arms of his savior. Mike was keeping tabs on the tabby, making sure he was getting the treatment and attention he needed to make a full recovery.
Pretty much, it was Mike’s plan to adopt the kitten when he was back to full health. Now, it was time to take the little guy home.
Warm And Loved In His Fur-Ever Home
All it took was one fateful day for Xerxes’ life to be entirely changed. Mike didn’t have to go looking for the animal crying in the freezing temperatures. But he did. And in doing so, the Dumb Friends League is fairly certain Mike saved the tabby’s life.
Mike is truly a special kind of hero. Now, Xerxes has a fur-ever home, one that he will be comfortable, warm, and most importantly, loved in.
A Day That Started With Routine
It was a day that would change Jim Passmore’s life forever. It was a day that he’ll never forget. It was a day that started like any other.
He’s a native of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and loves to take walks. It was a crisp March morning, and he did what he always did — bring his dogs with him for a casual stroll through the forest. But, it wasn’t going to be like any other stroll.
Jim loves nature, and he’s lucky enough to have a lot of it in Broken Arrow. He’s always been someone who can truly enjoy nature and all it has to offer. Rolling hills, crystal blue lakes, and some of the most beautiful vistas were everyday sights for these folks.
There are very few things he loves more than wildlife and scenic walks, but his dogs are definitely on that list. He loves dogs more than anything.
Out For A Walk
The trio — Jim and his two dogs — would frequent the same walking path regularly. However, Jim noticed something odd in the creek one day when he was taking a stroll.
He got closer, but it was incredibly hard to see exactly what they were looking at. It looked like a log floating out in the water. But as he took a better look at it, he could see some hair.
Some Animal Had Been Trapped
It looked like some type of animal had been trapped in the mud. Jim wasn’t sure, so he got a little bit closer and he could see something struggling. It looked weak, but whatever it was had been stuck in the mud near the creek’s bank.
Jim usually walks around the creek for a half hour a day, but on this day he was going to be there a lot longer than that.
Jim’s Dogs Weren’t Having It
As Jim approached the mystery mound, he noticed that his dogs began to start acting weird. These are two pups that have been acclimated to the area many times, so this was especially strange.
The dogs began to growl a deep, visceral growl. His dogs wouldn’t let him walk closer to the mound. They seemed to be protecting him from something, but he didn’t know what. His dogs started retreating from the scene.
The Stunning Find
He followed his intuition and pressed onward to figure out what was floating. First, he noticed an animal cage. Okay, that was weird, but it could help figure out what this animal was.
Jim’s first thought was that it was a beaver. That would make sense. I mean, beaver’s float in the water all the time. Surely it’s just minding its own business and doing its own thing. But, the cage made that claim seem odd.
What He Found Gave Him Shivers
The cage looked like something you would transport animals in. So he peered inside of it to see if he could garner any more information about what the cage could’ve housed.
Maybe the beaver was using the cage as shelter, or maybe it was a few groundhogs using an abandoned cage as their home. The scenarios kept running through Jim’s head. But, that wasn’t the case at all. What Jim saw sent shivers through his spine.
It Was On Purpose
There were feces all over the ground of the cage. Jim also found a blanket that was incredibly dirty, and a weighted chain. This was the moment that Jim knew something wasn’t right.
Someone had purposely done this. Someone had chained an animal to this cage and now it wasn’t there. He saw a whole bunch of weird markings on the cage. There was a huge bite on the side of it.
Maybe It Was A Beaver?
Oddly enough, a beaver came out of the woods and startled Jim. So, he followed the beaver to the riverbed and it finally came to a halt.
He had no idea what he was doing, following the beaver, but he felt like he needed to do it. Just a couple of feet away from the beaver there was a struggling animal. It was the same mound that Jim had seen earlier.
Jim Followed His Gut
The dampness of the woods and the ground had become increasingly soft. Jim ventured forward and quickly saw that the animal was bigger than a beaver. It couldn’t be a beaver.
The large creature seemed to be stuck in the mud and without thinking, Jim sprung into action. He had to help the poor critter out, but one thing kept playing in his mind — he still had no idea what this thing was.
He Was Going To Get It Out
Whatever it was, Jim was certain that he was going to get it out. He couldn’t bear to leave a struggling animal fighting for its life.
Jim figured that if this was, in fact, a beaver, it would be incredibly territorial. While his gut feeling told him that it probably wasn’t a giant beaver, he still needed to be aware of those teeth just in case it decided to get free and chomp him like a salad.
Could It Be Rabid?
Beavers usually bite humans when they have rabies too, so this whole situation could go from hero to zero very quick. Jim called over a few people to help him, and one of them ended up getting bit.
They rushed him to the hospital, but the rest of the team ended up staying put to try to get this animal out of the mud. Jim had to come up with a plan to avoid getting attacked again.
It Was Their Only Option
Jim realized that he had to cover the animal’s head. He had no idea how long it had been in the creek for and it was surely alarmed by the number of people trying to get it out.
It quickly calmed down after the jersey was placed over its head. I mean, not going to lie, I would be freaking out even more if my vision was suddenly gone, but good for the animal.
They Needed A Plan
Jim needed a plan that could hoist the animal out of the water. They tried to dig around it, but since the animal was half submerged in the mud, it was incredibly difficult.
They needed a pulley system or some sort of crane. Unfortunately, there wasn’t going to be a crane any time soon, so they would have to go with the pulley. They quickly realized there was a flaw, though.
The Plan Finally Worked
The mystery animal was refusing to budge. It seemed like it was truly stuck and had no plans of wanting to be free. But, they kept trying and eventually, they started to feel it getting looser.
This gave them a new sense of will to try even harder. They gave it one final yank, and the “beaver” was lifted to safety. But, as Jim wiped the animal’s face, he stumbled backward.
This Was No Beaver
This was no giant beaver. This was no giant groundhog. This was a dog. Beneath the mud was a quivering, yet beautiful sheepdog. They weren’t messing with a territorial beaver, they were dealing with a scared dog.
It looked like the dog had been there for quite some time, but was in relatively good shape considering all of the stuff that seemed to happen to it. So, how did it get there?
The Beaver Sidekick?
Jim called the police, and they were quick to the scene. What was so bizarre to Jim about this whole situation was that he was led to the dog by the actual beaver he met near the cage.
Was this dog being taken care of by the beaver? I mean, obviously, there isn’t much a beaver can do for a dog, but it’s cool to have a fantasy that they were buddies.
They Had A Main Priority
The more time the guys spent with the dog, the more they realized that it was in really poor condition. The dog was responsive at least a little bit.
The main priority was to keep the dog warm and comfortable. They would come to know the dog as Teddy. And by putting a blanket over it, they felt like Teddy was only going to get better in terms of his immediate health.
He Couldn’t Walk
They knew that they had to get him to some professional treatment fast. But, Teddy was in no shape to be able to just wander or walk by himself.
They decided to use the resources that they had around them and grabbed a wheelbarrow. They weren’t about to go and rushed back to their car. Teddy was obviously tired from the exhausting experience of constantly trying to get air while being stuck in the mud.
They Pooled Their Resources
Jim dialed up the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals (OAA) and the team worked quickly to get Teddy into their care. The team was warned that they would have their work cut out for them.
Teddy was still unreceptive to humans, and while the way that he ended up in the creek is unknown, there are credible theories. One theory was that he got hit by car, was injured, and his owner left him to die.
The Scenarios Were Sickening
Another was that his owner didn’t want him any longer so he brought him out in a cage and tried to drown him. Jim couldn’t stop thinking about the single blanket and weight that he found in the dog’s cage.
They landed on the name Teddy because of his cuddly appearance. They would have to work on Teddy actually trusting humans again in order for him to act cuddly, but it was a work in progress.
The Dog Had Nine Lives
Teddy was a dog with multiple lives. He got lucky. The situation that he was put in was horrible. He had to fight for his life for a long period of time. But, the chances of someone actually finding him and taking the time to save him was incredible.
Also, he was very lucky that the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals took him in. They were able to find a place for him to stay instead of a shelter.
The Rescue Could’ve Resulted In Death
If a shelter had received the call for help, they probably would’ve euthanized him. Teddy ended up receiving the vet care that he needed. He was finally in stable condition.
In a panic, Teddy had bitten one of the people trying to save him. There was some concern that he might have rabies. After some thorough testing, it was determined that Teddy didn’t have any rabies which was a relief.
It Was Taking Some Time
It took a couple of days for Teddy to fully get used to his pen at the OAA. Eventually, he warmed up to the workers. They administered pain medication that also helped him come back to a state of ease.
After some more testing, they realized that he was probably in a lot of pain which is why the medication was necessary. But, there was still a major problem that needed to be fixed.
His Biggest Hurdle
Teddy’s vet chalked up his inability to gracefully move around as a reason to why he was unhealthy. He wasn’t very active for a dog and became severely overweight., which only added to the problems he was already facing.
Overweight dogs are prone to joint, ligament, and bone problems, as well as internal organ dysfunction, high blood pressure, and diabetes. He was going to have an uphill battle to get back to health.
A Viral Sensation
But as Teddy’s story started to get slightly viral, his health started improving. He went from being a sluggish pup that was unfriendly and wanted to be left alone to being playful and affectionate.
He really found a caring person in the receptionist at the OAA. Her name was Jessie. It was almost as if Teddy was excited he was finally getting famous. Well, doggy famous anyway, and probably not famous for the right reasons.
He Was A Senior Citizen
Teddy is a senior dog, and prospects for adoption for seniors are slimmer. Basically, despite the obvious drawbacks to adopting an older dog, there are some benefits.
For one, you know they’re not going to be getting any bigger. Two, their behavior isn’t going to change all that much. And three, they’re typically less likely to bite and can be docile and affectionate. They’re usually better for a young family.
But, thanks to the OAA, Teddy was in good hands. It’s very common for shelters to advertise their residents on social media. It’s a cheap way for shelters, which are often strapped for funding, to begin with, to promote themselves and the animals they care for.
The OAA actively campaigns to reduce the number of animals euthanized every year. They also give cheap spaying and neutering procedures to the public.
The Stats Are Haunting
In the United States, about six million animals are processed into the shelter system every single year. Of those, about three million are dogs. The sheer volume of strays presents a problem for many shelter spaces.
Mix the lack of space and the low adoption rates and you have a problem that really only has one solution. Shelters end up euthanizing about 700,000 dogs every single year which is incredibly sad.
Where Is He Now?
Teddy was adopted! On Teddy’s new official Facebook account, this amazing update was posted. “Teddy was adopted by one of the only people he liked at Alta Vista Animal Hospital while staying there. He was a bit on the cranky side when he first arrived at the clinic, but now lives in his new home with his momma Jessie and other dogs.” We saw her picture a little earlier.
Teddy is now in a loving home surrounded by his new family, and he looks so happy in all of their update photos. Here they are, enjoying the great outdoors together.