a very sad day, indeed.


It is with a heavy heart that we share that our momma catahoula was found mid-day today by one of the wonderful volunteers who came out for her search. She had been struck and killed by a vehicle. 😦

Thank you to each of you who crossposted, shared her story, and dispatched to assist in looking for her. We appreciate you assistance in trying to help us find this sweet girl more than you know. To each of you who prayed for her and sent positive thoughts her way – thank you. We needed them as much as she did.

There are many rumors flying around facebook and the internet about how this girl came to be part of our Bonnie Blue Rescue program and ended up on the transport. Blame is flying left and right. Please stop. Blaming anyone (or everyone) will not change the outcome of this situation. It’s a futile effort and will only continue to deepen the grief of those involved. We are all heartbroken.

Many have asked how this sweet girl came to be a Bonnie Blue Rescue pup: this sweet momma was listed on facebook earlier this week at a high kill shelter in Manchester, TN. She was a momma to several puppies (4-6 weeks old) who were pulled by another rescue. She was left behind in the kill shelter and was not pulled with her puppies.  We will not disclose the name of the “rescue” who took them in, because even though we feel very strongly that what they did was very, very wrong, they do not deserve to be blasted as harshly as our rescue has been over the last 48 hours.

Through facebook networking, one of our awesome foster moms, Caroline, heard about her and offered to take her in to foster. We had several volunteers working together to put together a last minute rescue effort to get this girl pulled from the shelter and transported to foster care. Our momma catahoula was sent out of the shelter with a slip lead, overnighted and then put onto the transport with the same slip lead. The driver whom she got away from is an experienced transport driver. He felt as if the slip lead was not enough and put her in a collar/leash combo instead. It was snug fitting, but when she backed up, thrashed and bolted, she pulled out of it.

Bonnie Blue Rescue runs transports up/down the interstate every single weekend. In fact, most weekends we have 2-3 transports running opposite directions. This is the first time in years and years of doing transports that any of our pups has been lost on transport and we are going to do everything possible to make sure that it is the very last time, too. This girl will never have the chance to live in a home or to be a well-loved and cherished family member … to say that we are devastated is an understatement. 😦
Thank you for the continued outpouring of love and support during this time. We appreciate it more than you know.
And to our sweet momma catahoula  … you were wanted. And you were loved, and loved, and loved by an entire community of people. Rest in peace & run free, sweet baby.

69 Responses to “a very sad day, indeed.”

  1. gwen Says:

    R.I.P. pretty momma

  2. Cheryl Richards Helms Says:


  3. Blondie Says:

    A suggestion from a former greyhound rescuer/fosterer – please use a halter when transporting dogs.

  4. Margo Says:

    I am sooo sorry for your loss. Times are tough for these forgotten mama dogs and so many get left behind when their pups are rescued. You did the best you could and sometimes no matter how hard we try, things just happen. Give your driver my condolences, i know he/she must feel terrible.

    Sincerely, Margo

  5. Doc Chery Says:

    my heart goes out to each and every one of you- i am so very very sorry- this i know is devastating…blessings to each of you and sending light and healing thoughts to help ease your hearts…as for all the haters….they need to get a damned life and quit being so super judgmental and remember there but for the grace of dog goes you… sending out so many negative vibes into this world is why so many of us prefer animals to humans
    blessings peace and love from our home to yours
    we appreciate all you do- please keep it up

  6. sheila Says:

    So sad. Tears for that sweet baby.

  7. Amber Says:

    So very sorry to hear about your loss. My heart also goes out to the transporter. We all do the very best we can, and each time we take rescues, who are already frightened, into our cars, there is a risk. This risk can’t completely be nullified even with experience and lots of preventative measures – there are often variables that we just can’t completely plan for (car accidents, slipped leads, chewed collars, etc). I hope that we all can all realize that, no matter how heartbreaking this situation is, that 1) blame will not make anything ok or less heartbreaking, indeed it makes everything only worse, and 2) even though some element of risk is always present, the rewards of getting thousands of animals to safety & giving them a chance at a good life, will always be worth more than we can calculate.

  8. Debbie Moore Rodriguez Says:

    Thank you to all of those who were trying to help Momma…And to Momma, I hope that you did not die in vain, I hope that the few kind moments that you were shown here on earth were enough to let you know that you were a good momma and a very beautiful furbaby!!

  9. Debbie Says:


  10. Connie Spasser Says:

    My heart goes out to those involved. Dogs can be unpredictable, especially dogs who have been through so much, as any rescued dog has surely been. No one should judge ANYONE. People are so quick to do so, and people’s reputations are damaged, their souls are bruised, and they may decide never again to risk helping. Please know that you all are in the thoughts of so many of us who drive transports and support rescue. It could happen to any of us, no matter how many precautions are taken. Thank you for your courage and your strength and your dedication. Bless you ALL!

  11. Joyce Riebe Says:

    RIP little one!
    I drive transports also and that’s every transporters nightmare. But it does happen, we handle some of the most frightened and abused animals out there. At least she will never be alone again as she’s with the rest at the bridge.

  12. Diane L. Nagy Says:

    Nobody ever wants this to happen 😦 ….especially when a tragedy is involved..this is a transporters nightmare so nobody should judge so harshly…I’m sure they feel terrible!..soooo sorry Bonnie Blue…you have done many wonderful things in the past….my condolences…. All of our dogs on transport have maringale collars on….they are no choke…no slip… If you need some…I’m sure we can send some to you …

  13. dianne Says:

    so sorry to here this and no one is to blame in this matter just a sad day for all

  14. angie Says:

    she was ready to run free at any costs!…now she finally can…..forever!…rip sweet girl!…

  15. Marie Says:

    It was very good of you guys to pull her, and it’s a sad ending…. But it’s a good lesson for all of us to stay as alert as possible, and to keep leads tight and collars snug, and ready for a dog that’s going to dart. Sometimes a dog slipping it’s collar is unavoidable, but I hope Momma’s loss will make us all as aware and ready as possible.

    Best to you all at Bonnie Blue, and thank you so very very much for all you do.

  16. Michele Burkitt Says:

    I am so very sorry to read this. how heartbreaking for everyone involved

  17. Nancy Says:

    Poor sweet baby! This was such a needless tragedy! How many dogs will pay the price before rescue/transport volunteers realize they should ALWAYS USE A SLIP LEAD when moving a dog! I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but this this poor dog died due to a lack of common sense exercised by someone who took responsibility for her well-being.

  18. midge Says:

    please have all the dogs have a harness on this wont happen again if they are in a harness not just a collar

  19. Jacqueline Montalvo Says:

    i am so sorry to hear about this poor baby lost:( but am more sorry to hear that people are being so cruel. As hard as it is to rescue and place these babies there are people who go beyond the norm to help and should not be judged when an unfortunate thing occurs. I can only imagine how terrible the person who lost her must feel,please let him know that it’s truly not his fault. You guys do an absolutely wonderful job in a world where people have forgotten to love those that cannot do for themselves.Please keep up this wonderful job

  20. Wendy Mcarthur Says:

    Bonnie Blue , you guys are my hereos in rescue……. we, in Mobile will always in debt to BB , you guys pulled Bo and LUke, when NO other rescue in the country offered to save them, and then just recently, pulled 4 abused/neglected hounds from mcas……. When NO other rescue made an effort to save them……….

  21. CT Says:

    So sorry to hear of her accident. RIP sweet puppy.
    Hugs to all of you involved in her rescue espescially the handler.

  22. Lynn Says:

    I’m so sorry she got loose and found a vehicle before she could be found. We recently moved from east to west coast and were very worried about our two dogs getting away from us during the trip. A friend recommended martingales which I had never heard of before. They were great because if the dogs tried to pull or back up they tightened leaving no chance they could wangle their way out. You might want to look into them and see what you think. Once again so sorry for you all. Lynn.

  23. Wendy Mcarthur Says:

    You guys have supported us, though thick and thin,,,,,, it is nobody’s fault … things just happen in life.

    We appricate all you all do……… please keep up the wonderful work…………….Mamma dog is an angel dog now………

  24. shae farrell Says:

    This breaks my heart, but I am so thankful for all rescuers that come to the aid of these angels. This was unfortunate, but many many volunteers looked for her. You have children that will live on with a piece of you in them. RIP angel

  25. Sheila M Says:

    Thank you for working tireless to save these babies. There is no blame here, just sadness for a life lost too soon. Please continue your good work and know you have great support!

  26. Karen R Says:

    So sorry for your loss. I work in greyhound rescue, and this happening is one of my greatest fears. I always feel tense when we are doing the handoff of the newly retired dogs from the track hauler. None of us can predict exactly how a new dog will react, and unfortunately in rescue, sometimes a dog bolts and a slips away. I’m terribly sorry for any backlash you are getting. My experience is that those who criticize and blame the most often have no rescue experience at all. It’s much easier to throw stones when all you are doing is sitting on the sidelines. Keep on doing what you are doing. Momma will be waiting for you at the bridge, with nothing but love and gratitude for those who tried to help her.

  27. Deb Sanford Says:

    I’m so sorry. Both for Momma’s death and that you are subject to these people that sit behind a computer screen, who have never done a transport and know nothing about rescue. Facebook is an awesome resource but it also brings out the idiots who could never do what you do.

    You all are in my thoughts

  28. Roxanna ilkinson Says:

    So sorry this happened. I’m even sorrier to hear that your rescue is being blasted for this incident. People should be saying thank you for what you do, for trying to save this girl, and for taking the time to search for her after she got away. It’s a lot easier to sit back and complain from the side lines than it is to actually get out there on the field and play ball, or in this case, to rescue animals and find them homes where they will be loved.

  29. Sheryl L. Johnson Says:

    Losing an animal in your care, whether your personal pet, or a foster or a transport, is heartbreaking, and no one who has never been in this situation can know the depth of the hurt and dispair and guilt over wondering, did I do all I could? In this situation, everything possible was done to help this Momma Dog. If you must blame someone, blame the person who had the Momma Dog as a Puppy, allowed the Momma Dog to grow up without a permanent family. If that had happened years ago, this situation would not have happened since the Momma dog would not have been in a shelter to start! Before anyone starts running their mouth about how awful rescues are to get in this situation…why don’t you put your actions where your mouth is and go to a shelter and adopt a dog or cat? Why don’t you spay/neuter your pet? Why not microchip you pet so if they get lose they can be returned? Why not become a foster parent or become a transport person? Running your mouth (or your fingers to type) is not going to change a thing. Get off your butt and put some actions behind your hate THEN you can change something! RIP Momma Dog – run free at the bridge. You are loved by so many even if we only got to know you for a minute and will be greatly missed!

  30. BigSister Says:

    I am so very sorry for all of you. I think everyone who wants to say something harsh needs to remember that there isn’t one of us who can say that we have never in our lives had a pet escape. It just takes a split second.

    Two of the Michael Vick dogs escaped after being rescued and were both hit by cars. One of them being Jasmine, who was a cover pup for Sports Illustrated.

    The saddest part is that if Mama Cat hadn’t had bad experiences with humans prior to rescue, she never would have wanted to run in the first place.

    RIP, Mama. And everyone else – I don’t blame any of you. You did the best you could and I thank you for your hard work and dedication.

  31. JoAnn Harris Says:

    God bless all of you. God bless Momma Catahoula. I see her up there on the Rainbow bridge.

  32. Gill Herod Says:

    R.I.P.little one. Please don’t blame anyone, this can happen to anyone. My dog slipped out of his leash when another dog attacked him. He had never done this before and I check it on a regular basis to make sure it fits properly. Luckily he did not go far. Please send my love and thoughts to all. You do a wonderful job. x Gill

  33. Susanne Says:

    on such a sad day…the heart and mind war with one another…the reality and the pain try to ignore the truth and the hope. my white baby boy…just 2…met this same fate 9 months ago. I am so sorry. I know he was loved and know he knew it…I wish this sweet angel could have known that also. perhaps, if it is so, my Gibson and this momma will meet and touch souls with healing for one another. on such a sad day…it just rains and rains.

  34. Maddie Hutcheson Says:

    Fly to the angels Mama!!!! I can’t begin to imagine the devastation you are feeling, actually, that all of us in the transport volunteer community are feeling. This is a transporters worst nightmare. Thank you for being willing to pull this beautiful soul who was abandoned at the shelter and try to give her a loving forever home and family. For whatever reason, she was meant to be an angel instead. My heart goes out to all of you that were involved in this transport.


  35. Joan Vogt Says:

    I’m so saddened to hear about the outcome of this situation and feel for all who were involved with her rescue.

  36. Jennifer Says:

    Thank you to those who tried to help. It is just something that we will never know why….but she is at peace.

  37. Patti Socal Says:

    Very sorry for the loss of this sweet girl. I am sure the driver feels terrible, too. I would suggest that if someone wants to put a collar/leash on the dog, they either use a prong or slip chain collar. Most dogs, especially scared ones, can back up out of a regular collar.

  38. Tammy Herstad Says:

    God Bless your rescue and volunteers…. From a fellow rescue group!

  39. Deb Says:

    I am so very sorry to read this heartbreaking news. My thoughts and prayers are with Bonnie Blue, and all transporters.

  40. kim Says:

    Bless you for trying to help! I’m so sorry that this sad tragedy had to happen and am outraged at the negative response by some small minded individuals. Without rescue groups like yours, many animals would never reach their forever homes. Keep up the good work!!!!!!

  41. Lois Bourget Says:

    Animals are unpredictable and when scared are even moreso. Every transporter, foster, and rescuers nightmare has been realized in this poor girl.. No one is at fault or to blame.. Things happen for reasons none of us can fathom.. Say a prayer for her little soul and keep on moving on to save other lives in her honour.

  42. Rachael Says:

    You guys did everything you could which is more than most even thought about doing. As being apart of rescue for years sometimes freak events happen no matter how hard we prepare. No blame is to anyone expect those who dare to be so rude in times like this. She is happy at the bridge and will never be mistreated again.. so no tears only the happiness that she is peaceful and restored. Rachael
    Sioux Empire Pit Rescue

  43. Bonnie Beane Says:

    …..is this the dog who got away on I-40 or not?? Regardless, many are feeling your pain tonight and I am one of those, regardless. Hopefully she did not linger. I am so sorry.

  44. Timmy Wakeland Says:

    R.I.P. pretty girl you were loved by many. ❤

  45. Sandi Reynolds Says:

    I am an animal lover and my heart goes out to each and everyone of you wonderful rescue people. You all deserve a big applause for all of your efforts.

  46. Candice Coil Says:

    So very sorry for your loss!!

  47. Elizabeth Suttle Says:

    thankyou for your eloquent explanation

  48. JoAnne Stainback Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you now as they were when she was lost. Such a nightmare for all concerned. Having done transports myself, I know how heartbreaking this must be.

  49. Alexandra Kidd Says:

    Thank you for all that you do, very sorry that this tragedy happened, but it did sound like you guys did everything you could.

  50. Julie Nash Says:

    My heart goes out to you and so sad that this happened, but I would just like to say to all those people pointing blame that this was obviously a very tragic accident and I can relate to it. One of my heelers, a very special little girl, that someone had dumped in my backyard one day, was killed the very same way. I had to work late one night and I had asked him to walk her for me. She had a harness as she tended to bolt to chase things, that evening she was startled by something and slipped straight back out of her harness and ran. I received a phone call from my vets later that day to say that someone had found her, she had been run over and killed. I was devastated and did not speak to my husband for weeks!!! Then I finally understood that it was not his fault!

    Thank you for rescuing this little mamma from the shelter and giving her that little bit of happiness. May she rest in peace now.

  51. Debby Hall Says:

    My sentiments are exactly the same as the previous 3 posts. In addition, I think its a shame that Bonnie Blue Rescue had to take so much time out of their important work today to post the above long explanation of circumstances surrounding this situation including a plea for all the silly finger-pointing to cease.

    I drive dogs as often as I can because every canine we volunteers can successfully transport from a high-kill shelter to a reputable rescue IS another tragedy avoided. Therefore I strongly encourage anyone who is sad or angry about this to do something positive in memory of Mama Catahoula = volunteer to drive for a dog transport next weekend. I sure will.

  52. ScarlettO Says:

    Grieve for the loss, and continue the good work.

  53. Dixie Troutman Says:

    RIP SWEET ONE ❤ ❤ ❤

  54. lissers Says:

    I am so sorry you lost this poor baby girl, who was on her way to a much better life. It’s so sad, one of the reasons she probably escaped and ran was so that she could look for her puppies that were taken away from her. She will be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge. ❤

  55. milliemorganmedia Says:

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  56. Steph Says:

    rest in peace sweet girl ❤

  57. Michelle Says:

    Love and deep gratitude to every person involved in her rescue.

  58. Victoria Says:

    I recently drove a dog with a harness and he was out of it when the arriving driver got him out of their car. It was around his waste. I had my own dog slip a harness and a collar on the same day. I never take my dogs anywhere without a slip lead. On transports, I carry slip leads in my car… you can get about 100 of them for $40… and I use the dog’s collar or harness AND I put one of my own slip leads on them as well. I send slip leads with dogs who have none. I figure I do not know the dog and the dog does not know me and I want to have two leads in my hand. Especially on the bigger, stronger guys. My vet office will not allow his staff to take a dog out of the building without two leads… one, a slip. I am so sorry for the loss of this sweet girl. And for the heartache of everyone involved in this terrible accident.

  59. Peggy Haymes Says:

    I am so sorry to read this story. My thanks go out to you who give of your time, energy and your love to rescue.

    One of my dogs has been able to slip out of a harness when scared, so I understand how it happens.

    Thank you for what you do for our four legged friends.

  60. Jennifer Says:

    I am sorry for your loss. There should be no blame as things like this can happen. I also help transport and so far have been lucky in not losing one although there have been close calls.

    I am also against rescues who take the pups but leave the mom behind. I have also done dog auction rescues and some groups leave the breeding dogs behind and take only the young pups.

    In memory of momma, please rescue a dog from a high kill shelter!

  61. Tiffany Schwartz Says:

    This is heartbreaking , my deepest sympathies goes out to everyone involved … we are only human and make mistakes but out of this tragedy will come something positive , don’t let this change your goals 🙂 Keep up with the good work !!

  62. Deb Says:

    My heart aches for you and your group. I work with a local rescue group here and also have done transports. No blame should be given to anyone. It is a learning process.

  63. Avis Says:

    In no way do I blame either the rescue or the transporter in this horrible circumstance. Every time I transport I know something like this can happen no matter how many precautions you take. I will keep transporting and hope that this does not happen to me or any other dog I transport. Unfortunately accidents do happen even to the most experience among us.

  64. Linda Says:

    Little one you did matter, and you always will. Say hello to all the others, both dogs AND cats.

  65. Bobbi Yarbrough Lee Says:

    I am so sorry for what happened to Mama Dog. I have transported houlas for Bonnie Blue before, and they are just such special dogs. The pictures of her earlier in the transport just broke my heart. Reading about what she went through with her puppies broke it some more. Knowing the transporter feels is awful. I have felt my heart literally stop in my chest when a dog has come close to getting away from me. This is just such a tragedy for all involved.

  66. Lorrie Says:

    Everyone at Bonnie Blue does such great work and does not get appreciated enough. I am sad that this happened. It is my worst nightmare that this could happen when I am transporting. I also use a slip lead along with their regular collar and leach. I am so sorry for the person who was transporting this baby. It is not their fault. It happened and we can all learn from it. To all the ones who are blasting Bonnie Blue or the transport person get up and volunteer to assist with these precious babies.

  67. Sheila Says:

    My heart goes out to all those involved in this tragic accident. It is with great sadness that she was taken from us when a better life was being planned for her and her puppies. Many of us never knew her, but she’s in the hearts of those that love animals and do what they can to give them a better life. Her life was cut short, but she will live on in making sure this hopefully doesn’t happen to another. Tears pour as I write this and I hope she was not scared or frightened, but that she felt free and she is free now in Rainbow Heaven. Accidents happen and this was an accident so please never blame yourself. I admire the work you do to save these loving animals that have no one else. Thank you for your courage, your strength and your dedication. Bless you ALL!

  68. betsyritter Says:

    My heart breaks for Momma and her rescuers! How wonderful for you to do the right thing and pull this girl who had just lost her babies, instead of looking the other way, like so many others clearly did…bless you for that. I hope you can look past the negative, hurtful comments and see that this entire situation was created for love of the dog, Momma.
    Sometimes, life’s just unfair, However, it also seems that some souls get more than their fair share of inequity. Perhaps that is the reason why we love them just a bit stronger…because they need it!

    Please have peace knowing it could happen to anyone (and does). The nay-Sayers are free to point fingers because they never actually had it happen to them.

    Sending healing energy your way!!!!


  69. Kim Quintanilla Says:

    So sorry. My own dog slipped out of his collar once while we were at a hotel–thankfully he is old and didn’t run–and he is well trained and comes when called. I was picking up his poop and looked back at him and all that was there was his collar atteched to the leash–I didn’t even know he was out of the collar!

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