When staff members at a cemetery in Missouri saw a shadow moving through the graveyard one night, they weren’t scared. They’d seen an influx of visitors recently, most of whom trotted around on four legs.
After getting a better look the next day, they confirmed that their guest was a small, stray puppy. He was missing most of his hair, and his feet were too sore to walk on, so they called their friends at Stray Rescue of St. Louis (SRSL).
Donna Lochmann, chief life saving officer at SRSL, told The Dodo that many stray pups make their way into the cemetery.
“They just get under the fence and decide that they like it because it’s quiet,” Lochmann said. “It’s a huge cemetery, so they have a lot of space to get away from people.”
But every stray dog deserves proper shelter, so Lochmann and the staff at the cemetery immediately came up with a rescue plan. They spread out and scoured the graveyard, trying to find the puppy.
After looking for a while, one of the search team members heard a noise coming from a bush and found the puppy curled up underneath it.
Lochmann scooped up the puppy and immediately took him to the vet, where he was treated for his skin condition and the wounds on his feet. They lovingly named him Kamper, after one of the tombstones in the graveyard where he was found.
When Kamper finally started feeling better, his caregivers at SRSL decided to bring him back to the cemetery to see his rescuers again.
“It was really emotional for everyone, especially for Kamper and the volunteer who called us,” Lochmann said.
As soon as Kamper saw the cemetery staff again, he lit up with excitement. He barreled toward each of them and planted giant kisses of gratitude on all their faces.
And the staff at the cemetery were just as excited to see him, too.
“The woman who called was so happy that we’d gotten him and that he was doing so well,” Lochmann said. “On our end, we certainly appreciated that she’d contacted us so that he could get some help.”