A puppy chained to a parked railway car with no food or water was unexpectedly saved by brave railway workers in Wisconsin. The story’s happy ending will warm your heart.  

12. An Urgent Warning 

Image: TAP Into Travel

Nobody expects to come face to face with pure cruelty toward animals, but that’s unfortunately what happened to engineers Michael Ortega and Allen Au. Ortega and Au work for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The men were on a train heading from n Galesburg, Illinois, and La Crosse, Wisconsin, when the dispatcher called with an urgent warning. 

11. Tied to a Railcar 

Image: Facebook

Someone had called the railroad to report there was a dog tied to a railcar. The railcar was stopped in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The dog was tied to a flat car, which is used to haul things like sheetrock and lumber. The men were now officially on the lookout for the poor pup. 

10. No Sight of the Dog 

Image: Rail Engineer

However, when Au and Ortega arrived in the area, they saw the parked railcars, but no dog. “We went really slow, almost to the end of the train, and parked at the end was a lumber car,” Au said. “I thought, ‘That must be it.’ But as we drove by, we didn’t see anything.” 

9. A Terrified Pup 

Image: Facebook

Au decided he needed to get on the ground to inspect the area. He climbed off the train and walked over to the flat car. Finally, after hopping on top of the flat car, he saw a little brown dog. The dog was trembling with fear. It was chained to a steal beam by a 12-inch chain. There was no water, and a pile of kibble was too far away for him to reach. 

8. Wet and Cold 

Image: Pinterest

“They had left food for the dog up on the train, but it had shifted all to one side, so the dog couldn’t get to it,” Au said. “For the majority of the past few days it had been raining up here, so all the food was wet, soaked and looked like mush.” 

7. The Rescue 

Image: Facebook

Au had heard other stories of animal cruelty involving railroads, but this was his first encounter with one in the 13 years he had worked for the railroad. He immediately called Ortega and the two men approached the dog. They unchained her and carried her back to their train, where she would be safe and warm. 

6. Days in the Rain 

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“Her little tail was wagging,” Ortega remembered “Which was amazing after all she’d been through.” The men noted that the train she was tied to started off in Willmar, Minnesota and was headed to Kansas City, Missouri. This meant she had already been stuck in the rain for at least two or three days. 

5. Outraged 

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The engineers were outraged. “You can’t just leave a dog on the train; some of those trains go 70 miles an hour,” Au said. “And it wasn’t one of those trains that was sitting in the yard — it was a train that had actually been moving.” 

4. Safe and Sound 

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The men named the little dog Lulu. They gave her all the food they had in the cabin and also finally gave her some water. The dog “drank [the water] like crazy,” Ortega said. He knew immediately that he wanted to adopt the dog. He didn’t want Lulu to spend even a single night in the uncertainty of a shelter. 

3. Adopted! 

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Ortega looked at Au and said, “If you don’t adopt her I will.” He called his wife right away and she made an arrangement to come get the dog. “Seeing how she was when we found her — I have pets at home, and I pictured that it was one of them tied to that car — I just couldn’t understand or fathom what she’s gone through,” Ortega said. “We had the means to take her in, and she’s just the best little pup, so sweet and loving.” 

2. A New Family 

Image: Galesburg News

Lulu loved her first night with her new family, and Ortega and his wife watched over her with love. “We stayed with her, watching her, like new parents would,” Ortega said. “It was just so sweet, she’s a very good girl.” Lulu has three dog siblings and she loves interacting with them.  

1. Meant to Be  

Image: Galesburg News

“They all play and bring toys to one another, and it’s awesome to watch because that’s how it should be,” Ortega said. “She fits right in. It’s like she came into our home and she’s been there the entire time.” Ortega is certain that she was meant to be their dog. “She belongs here with us,” Ortega said. “And we’re very blessed to have her.”