Fitness Trainer’s Intuition Unleashes Mama Dog & Secret Puppies

Written by Kate Golubinski

On November 5th one lucky dog was rescued from euthanization by one simple thing: human intuition. Kate, a 19-year-old personal trainer, had wanted a puppy for a few years now, but had never actually acted upon it. She didn’t know how to take care of a dog, or even how to bond with one. But one day in late October while surfing the internet, Kate came across the website of a high-kill New York City animal shelter with pages of homeless dogs in danger of being euthanized possibly soon. Kate’s heart went out to these poor dogs. As she scrolled through, she came upon a particular dog who caught her interest. It was Ella, a 13-month-old Lab mix. Kate didn’t know exactly why, but she felt a strong connection when she looked into Ella’s eyes in that single photograph. She saved Ella’s picture to her computer and shut it off.

For the next four days, Kate couldn’t stop thinking about Ella. The thought of the dog’s safety being at risk was so strong, that she couldn’t even sleep by the 4th night.

“I don’t even know why,” Kate said to her fiancee, “But I feel like I need to go get her. I’ve never even met the dog, but I can’t sleep, I can’t stop thinking about her.”

Kate's inner voice was unrelenting in its urgency to save this dog from the shelter. Little did she know, she'd be saving an entire family of dogs!

The next morning the two set off on a 45 minute drive into New York City in search of the shelter using a GPS unit. Kate couldn’t believe she was actually doing this. After all,she didn’t even know if the dog was still in the shelter.

She hadn’t yet told her parents, who owned the house she lived in. “What if she was adopted out already? Or killed?” Kate asked herself out loud.

“Don’t worry about it, the least we can do is see if she’s still there,” her fiancee replied.

Kate knew he didn’t think Ella would be there, or that they would get her. Neither did she. When they got to the shelter, they began looking around at the dogs and none of them were Ella. They found a volunteer and Kate handed over a paper with a picture of Ella, her ID number and description.

“Ella,” the volunteer read. “Hmm… I don’t think I remember seeing her around. But i’ll definitely double check for you.”

And so, they waited. About 10 minutes later, they found out that Ella was, in fact, in the shelter and still up for adoption but in isolation with kennel cough. Kate and her fiancee were shocked and excited, and got the chance to meet Ella outside on a leash with the volunteer.

Kate asked all sorts of questions. Was Ella was up to date with her vaccinations? What was her temperment? Would she grow bigger? Finally, she knew it was time to take Ella home.

Bella with her new family, Brandon and Kate

A few days after rescue, Kate took Ella, now “Bella,” to the vet, to find out she was pregnant. She also found out that Bella and the pups inside her were scheduled to be euthanized the morning after she was rescued.

“Thank goodness for intuition,” Kate said. “Bella is now safe in our home and I wouldn’t trade my new best friend for anything.”

Three days ago, Bella became a mom. She gave birth to nine pups, three of whom sadly passed away upon arrival, perhaps in large part due to her bout of kennel cough and stress in the shelter environment.

“We are so thankful for Bella’s six living miracles,” Kate exclaimed. “She is mothering and nurturing them flawlessly.”

If you have a rescue story to share, we’d love to here it. Visit The Great Animal Rescue Chase to post your story or enjoy those written by others.


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Simon A.
Simon A.2 months ago

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Past Member
Past Member 5 months ago

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Roney W.
Roney W.6 months ago

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Mickey J.
Past Member 11 months ago

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Anna M.
Anna M.2 years ago

Thank you, Kate, for following your instinct.

Thank you, Brandon, for being supportive and welcoming an expansion to your family!

You give hope that not all of humanity is cruel.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin2 years ago

Thank you Kate! You're a hero in my eyes and also in Bella's!

Leora S.: This is a heartwarming story of a woman saving lifes. Why make it into something bad? It is far from it. I cherish stories like this and consider everyone saving abandoned pets heroes. Besides, it's "paved", not "pages".
Happy New Year to you too!

Alicia Guevara
Alicia Guevara2 years ago

Tks Kate for saving Bella and pups! Hope they find good

Sheri D.
Sheri D.2 years ago

Thanks for saving Bella (and her pups).

Christine Jones
Christine Jones2 years ago

A good reminder to always listen to that little voice in your head that won't be silenced.