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Sarah Lindell and Junior pose with Jennifer Sundal and Early, after keeping two of the six puppies. photo by Matt Algarin

By Matt Algarin for

SANTA ROSA BEACH – After a brief stop at the Bark Park last week, Sarah Lindell became the proud mother of six abandoned puppies.

Lindell stopped by the park to let her two dogs Puddin and Slim stretch after dropping her son off at school that morning.

“When I got there I thought I had seen something moving,” said the Santa Rosa Beach resident. “I looked and there were six little puppies just sitting there. They were cold and shivering and their ribs were sticking out.”

The self-proclaimed “dog lover” couldn’t believe her eyes. “I was shocked,” Lindell said. “I can’t imagine someone just leaving those adorable puppies out in the cold.”

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence, according to Laurie Hood, founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge.

“Our phone rings non-stop all day with people wanting to surrender an animal to us because we are a no-kill shelter,” she said. “We recently wrote down each call and noted how many animals they were calling about. There were over 2,000 requests for a one month period.”

In the case of the jilted pups, Lindell said all the area no-kill shelters she called were full.

Although Alaqua was also maxed out, Lindell said they were able to help her out with getting the puppies shots and de-wormed.

“They were really great, they gave me a discount on the shots,” Lindell said. “They also told me they would put pictures up on their Facebook page and Web site.”

Initially, Lindell thought she would have a tough time finding homes for the puppies because of the turbulent economy.

“People really wanted to help,” she said. “It’s just hard for some people to take in a dog.”

Lindell said friend and local musician Donnie Sundal and his wife Jennifer were instrumental in finding homes for the puppies.

“We took them up to Shorty’s on Super Bowl Sunday,” Lindell said, “Donnie was playing and figured that would be a good place to try and find them homes. He got on the microphone and started calling them “Who Dat Dogs” and that went over big with the crowd. Sure enough we found homes for all of them except one that night.”

Junior, the one puppy that Lindell couldn’t find a home for, is now happily snuggled up with Puddin and Slim at her house.

“Everyone in the community was great,” she said. “This has no way inconvenienced my life at all. I loved every part of it, I just considered myself their fairy dog mother.”