DETROIT (WJBK) - Eleven puppies were rescued Wednesday from an underground cave dug by their mother before the area's heavy rainfall could put them in real danger.
The Michigan Human Society received a call from a neighbor who had heard some puppies parking in a yard.
They scoped the area and counted 11 puppies buried underground by their mother, likely to protect them from the bad weather.
Setting a safe trap, they had hoped to catch the mother at the same time as the puppies to keep them together. But with potential flooding, it was time to rescue the puppies before they were in danger.
The Michigan Human Society filmed the rescue as two workers named Chris and Pam entered the yard, carrying multiple cages.
Chis began pulling puppies from the hole, one-by-one, handing them to his partner Pam to be placed into the cages, starting with the first puppy who was waiting for them at the entrance of the hole.
"I can't believe how deep this thing is," he said, after pulling out the third puppy.
After rescuing the fourth puppy, the rest were deeper and they decided they needed to dig a bit.
He carefully began digging out the hole, as Pam put the four puppies in the truck so they wouldn't be stuck in the rain.
Chris then pulled out the fifth puppy.
Afraid if they dug much further the hole could cave in, the workers put out wet food to attract the dogs to the entrance.
Covered in mud, the sixth puppy is rescued.
Chris says he didn't see the mother inside the underground cave.
"I wouldn't want to be in a position like this with mom dog in the hole," he said. "Because she dug it, I'm sure could move pretty good. Her first reaction might be to protect her puppies, which could cause me some injury."
The puppies remaining in the cave howl as Chris waits for them to get closer to the entrance.
About 12 minutes into the mission, the seventh puppy is rescued. Chris says the dog was stuck in roots and he was afraid to pull him too hard and cause injury.
And just as they're discussing the next move to reach the puppies in the very back of the hole, the eighth puppy walks out on its own.
Having lost their flashlight, they explain they're going to keep the safe trap out to catch the mother.
That's when Chris looks back into the hole and pulls out a ninth puppy that's made its way to the opening.
Quite the talker, it howls loudly until its safe in Chris arms.
Mom can be heard barking in the distance, but isn't coming toward them.
After 5-10 minutes of working, he pulls out the 10th puppy.
"I know there's at least one more," Chris said.
Nearly a half hour into the rescue, he pulls out the final puppy for a total of 11 dogs. All the puppies have been saved.
"Oh boy, my washer is going to hate me," Chris said, covered in mud.
The next step is catching mom, but in the meantime, the puppies are at the shelter getting a bath and will be evaluated from there.
Watch the full video for yourself below: