Helen Woodward Animal Center
One of 38 puppies who survived the crash welcomed by Helen Woodward Animal Center. Helen Woodward Animal Center photo

The Helen Woodward Animal Center welcomed 38 puppies from Louisiana Wednesday who survived an animal transportation vehicle flipping on its side on a Texas highway a little over 24 hours earlier.

Unfortunately, two of the puppies died in the crash and others were injured. The driver survived and was able to call for help following the accident.

“In my 23 years at the center, I have never experienced this type of a tragedy,” said Renee Resko, Woodward Center vice president of development. “We’ve all been so fortunate to just expect that each transport will arrive safely. There is so much care put into these journeys by the participating shelters and the transportation companies who do all of this for the love of the animals,” she continued. “[The] accident came as a shock to all of us.”

Three of 38 puppies who survived the crash welcomed by Helen Woodward Animal Center. Helen Woodward Animal Center photo

The accident took place early Tuesday morning in Longview, Texas. The driver was headed to a hotel for an overnight rest when the vehicle hit a center median and flipped, skidding onto its side and sliding across the highway when the driver over-corrected.

The driver was able to call 911 and the Longview authorities closed down the highway, flipped the vehicle upright and towed it to a nearby fire station. Assessments were done by the firemen on each puppy and an emergency vet was contacted to do additional health checks.

The 38 surviving puppies arrived Wednesday morning and received an additional medical assessment from the center’s veterinary team. Those puppies deemed healthy may be available for adoption as early as this weekend.

“We know that one of the puppies has a broken leg and one has some mild head trauma so we will be keeping those puppies with us until they are fully recovered,” said Kendall Schulz, Helen Woodward adoption services director. “We are incredibly moved by the severity of the accident and the miracle of how many of them not only survived but were safe from injury. We put all of our hearts into looking after orphan pets but I sincerely feel that something greater was looking out for them this morning.”

The Helen Woodward Animal Center and Heart of Louisiana have partnered on more than 40 transports of animals since 2020, bringing nearly 2,000 Louisiana pups to their forever homes, officials said. About 90% of the animal center’s pets arrive from overcrowded shelters and open access facilities across the country, where without a partner shelter willing to open its doors, euthanasia is often the only option.

For more information on the Helen Woodward Animal Center or to adopt, visit www.animalcenter.org or call 858-756-4117, ext. 313.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock