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Puppy, mama dog rescued from Houston demolition site

by Michelle Homer /

Posted on April 26, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 26 at 5:26 PM

HOUSTON – A stray puppy nicknamed "Mr. Handsome" is safe after a close brush with death that tugged at the hearts of Houston animal lovers.

Mr. Handsome and his momma dog were living under an abandoned church in Houston’s Third Ward. The Church of Good Through Jesus Christ was scheduled to be demolished on Monday.

Trish Cormier learned about the dangerous situation three weeks ago and began trying to rescue the dogs.

Despite long days and nights of trying, she and others weren’t able to coax the dogs out from under the small church in the 3400 block of Holman.

Citizens for Animal Protection got involved and set up traps on the church lawn. They caught Momma around 11 p.m. Sunday night, but the frightened puppy wouldn’t budge.

"He was a little smarter than we were," said Cormier.

The rescuers left at 1 a.m. with plans to try again Monday morning knowing their time was running out. Cormier said the developer that owns the property told her they should "do what we needed to do." They were going to tear down the church, puppy or no puppy.

"We couldn’t leave a trap out here with him in it because it’s so dangerous with ants. The fire ants can kill a dog that size," said Cynthia Shaw with Citizens for Animal Protection

They brought Momma back Monday morning and set her trap on the church lawn, hours before the demolition was scheduled to begin.

The puppy came out from under the church and stayed near its mom.

Finally, the hungry puppy wandered into a second trap and gobbled up some food. Mr. Handsome wasn’t happy when the door snapped closed behind him, but his mood improved when he was reunited with his mom.

"Thank you Jesus. He’s safe. He’s with his momma now and he is safe," said Trish Cormier.

Shaw said the other puppies in the litter were stolen. She believes vagrants are trying to sell them to make some quick cash.

Cormier says the Third Ward is "overwhelmed by stray, neglected, starved animals just like Momma and Mr. Handsome.

"They are the forgotten souls in a neighborhood that most are afraid to drive through," she said.

Cormier will now try to find homes for the two dogs that are no longer "forgotten souls," thanks to her.