The woman said, “You know I thought this would be so fun, having a bunch of cute, chubby little puppies around.

The woman said, "You know I thought this would be so fun, having a bunch of cute, chubby little puppies around. I thought people would be lining up at my door to take them when they were ready to leave their mama. It hasn't turned out like that. I gave two of them away and the people brought them back. Their excuses were, one pooped in their house and the other said that the puppy kept them up all night. (Duh!) They brought the puppies back and just dumped them over my fence. I have eight puppies that are getting out of their pen every time I turn around, making messes everywhere, and eating more than I can afford to feed them. What I thought was going to be fun is not so much. This is darned hard work and a big mess, and now I'm stuck with a bunch of puppies I can't get rid of and I don't know what to do."

I wish this were an uncommon conversation, but unfortunately, it is not. Far too many people wind up in this spot when fantasy meets reality. People with less conviction than this woman just take the litter for a ride to the country, leave them on the side of the road, stage a parking lot give-away or some even resort to shooting them. At least she is admitting that she doesn't want a repeat of this puppy episode and that she should have gotten her dogs spayed. Now, she's frantically calling or emailing rescues and shelters like ours to find help. She realizes the victims of her "fantasy" are the puppies, and that they shouldn't pay a hurtful price for what she now confesses was her irresponsibility. Just her admission of fault in the matter was refreshing!

We hear so many amazing reasons for these "surprise" litters. Some are even comical: "Well, they told us she was fixed when we got her." "Well, we thought the male was too young to do that." "We never let her out of our fenced yard! We can't imagine how this happened!" Some even tell us, "The vet told us she should have one litter of puppies before we spayed her or the vet told us she should go through one heat cycle before she was spayed and those darned neighbors let their dog jump our fence!"

Wouldn't it be so much simpler to spay and neuter their dogs? I understand that it is an expense but the same people who tell me they can't afford it, many times can afford or fund other very unnecessary luxuries or habits. Most of the time, it is a matter of priorities. Sometimes, it is truly a matter of finances and I hope that with the new Faithful Friends Adoption Center we will see a day when we can offer a low cost spay and neuter program to save puppies from abandonment, falling victim to highways, disease, wild animals, dehydration and starvation.

I wrote last week about four little bottle-babies left at a doorstep in a cardboard box on a cold rainy morning. An experienced foster family came forward and took on the round-the-clock effort to save these little darlings. Sadly, we lost little Fern on Saturday, but we are thrilled to report that Wilbur, Henry and tiny Baby Charlotte are little fighters who will survive, thrive and are already bringing joy to those who love them.

I went to visit one of our foster moms this morning. She is caring for our rescue, Lexi, and her eight babies who are now four weeks old. She has fostered litters for us before and remarked as she's cleaning up another round of newspapers full of doo-doo, "It's like being pregnant. You forget what it was like until you experience it again. I just get their pen all clean, neat and tidy and here the little pee/poop machines come again, even before I finish laying the last paper down." Puppies are work, and they do get expensive after their mama weans them but abandoning puppies is so evil, irresponsible and against the law! These innocent, dependent puppies are brought into this world by our choices, not theirs. We are morally obligated to take care of them and we will!

Leanne Williams is president of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates.