Mount Carmel puppies' rescue was group effort
MOUNT CARMEL - The rescue of a litter of puppies and their mother from the Silver Bowl was a group effort.
Some involved in the rescue contacted The News-Item on Friday to share more of the story.
The pregnant dog was spotted in the area of the Silver Bowl over the course of several weeks, and food was put out for her to eat. She was again spotted earlier this week inside the stadium, charging at a woman from beneath a set of bleachers.
"Thanks to (Melissa Ann Mekosh) we had an idea where pups were probably located," Ann Swartz, of Mount Carmel, wrote on a Facebook posting that she later shared with The News-Item.
It was a school district maintenance man, Sam Ryan, who went to the stadium to open its gates the night of the rescue, and not Dave Fegley, maintenance director, which was reported in Friday's edition.
Swartz said Tony Matulewicz, Mount Carmel borough council president, crawled under the bleachers and found the pups.
"Ronda Hawk Balonis of Mostly Mutts was there immediately when it was known pups were under bleachers. Ronda Hawk Balonis assessed the age of pups and made (the) decision to take pups to shelter," Swartz wrote.
Ryan and another man picked up a humane trap from Mostly Mutts to catch the mother. Joan Jeffery Ryan, Michelle Pauzer, Debbie Davis, Tommy Ditchey and Dave Donkochik were at the stadium for hours trying to catch the mom, to no avail.
The next day, Joan Jeffery Ryan, Sam Ryan, Balonis and Frankie Brosh helped capture her, she said.
Brosh drove her to Mostly Mutts, "where she was reunited with her puppies."
"Without all you guys this would have never happened!" Swartz wrote.
Greg Sacavage, an administrator at Mount Carmel Area School District, relayed what he knew of the story to The News-Item on Thursday night. His niece did come across the rescue at the Silver Bowl, but it was incorrectly reported that she had discovered the canine family.
6 boys, 3 girls
Cheryl Hill, of Mostly Mutts, a no-kill dog shelter in the rural Sunbury area, said Friday the 3-week-old puppies are healthy. There are six males and three females. The mother is on antibiotics for a breast infection. When the 10 dogs are ready, they'll be put up for adoption.
The puppies have generated a lot of interest.
"The phone has been ringing off the hook," Hill said Friday morning.
Two adoption applications have been submitted. She expects many more will follow in the coming days. Those looking to adopt can expect at least a five-week wait.
Students at Mount Carmel Area will be asked to name the puppies, she said, using monikers related to the stadium or the history of the Mount Carmel area. Sacavage had previously said a school fundraiser would help raise money for supplies for the puppies and their mother.
Both Hill and Sacavage credited all involved in the rescue.
"I don't want any credit. I just want the dogs taken care of," Sacavage said, apologizing for any potential hard feelings some may have had with his original account of what he was told occurred. "My intention of the whole thing is to make sure the dogs get adopted."