Woman Spends Days Searching Underground For Puppies Lost In Storm Drain


To many people in the Houston, Texas area, Callie Clemens is a true hero. 

Her unwavering commitment, determination, and compassion has captivated the hearts of the community as she embarked on a multi-day mission to rescue a litter of puppies. 

As soon as she saw an urgent post about the puppies lost in a treacherous storm drain, she sprang into action. Thanks to her and her tireless efforts, some of those puppies are now safe and sound. 

Operation Save The Puppies

woman getting out of sewer
Source: Khou 11

Callie Clemens is widely recognized in the Houston region for her exceptional ability to rescue a diverse range of animals. In fact, it is estimated that she has saved at least 100 of them in the last eight years.

On July 26, 2023, she was notified about desperate dog noises that were heard from underground, echoing through a storm drain in the Houston suburb of Spring Branch. 

Without even thinking about it, she grabbed a flashlight and went inside the storm drain. 

The puppies were trapped and someone had to save them. “Somebody’s got to do it,” Clemens simply said. 

She lowered herself into a roughly seven-foot-deep storm drain and crawled through a tight tunnel infested with cockroaches. “There’s a lot of cockroaches, you just have to avoid them, you just go fast,” Clemens told Fox News. 

girls in sewer
Source: The Washington Post

This wasn’t the first time Callie went underground to save an animal. She did this before to save a kitten in May 2021, and probably, she’ll do it again. 

Rescuing these puppies wasn’t easy at all, especially in extremely hot weather. This risky rescue mission lasted a couple of days, with Callie going underground almost every day and searching end to end, side to side. 

“Venturing down a storm drain is terrifying, but it would never resonate with me to know that I left an animal in there to starve and suffer,” Clemens told the Washington Post. 

Somebody’s Got To Do It

little black puppy sitting in a kennel
Source: The Washington Post

The first night of the rescue mission, Clemens managed to rescue one puppy that was then taken to the Houston SPCA. 

“The next day we had a whole crew out there from sunup to sundown,” Clemens said. Even some city workers and local engineers came to help. 

After searching for hours, they finally found another tiny black pup – later named Timmy – that ended up in the city pound, but with the help of the Rescued Pets Movement, they were able to transfer him to a foster home. 

woman holding little black puppy
Source: The Washington Post

They are hoping to transfer the first puppy to a foster home soon. 

While Clemens was searching underground for a third puppy, some other volunteers spotted a tiny black puppy outside the exit of the drain. 

Before they could react, the puppy ran away under a nearby fence. 

However, Clemens was not giving up. She and other volunteers kept going down several storm drains to look for the last puppy, and they will do it until it is rescued. 

“I refuse to give up. We are going to find it,” Clemens told the Washington Post. 

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They Are Not Giving Up

Once all three of the puppies are rescued, they plan to transfer them outside Houston and find them a permanent home. 

Puppy dumping and overpopulation of stray animals is a major problem in Houston. 

Clemens manages the Lost & Found Pets of Spring Branch & Spring Valley Facebook page, and runs the Paws Off The Streets program that does community outreach and helps local stray animals. 

puppy in woman's hands
Source: The Washington Post

She witnesses on a daily basis how terrible this animal safety issue truly is in Houston. 

“If the rest of the world could see what we see on a daily basis, they would be shocked; they would be horrified. It is a public health and public safety crisis,” Tena Lundquist Faust, who runs a Houston-based nonprofit, Houston Petset, told the Washington Post.  

According to a documentary called For The Animals, by the twins, Lundquist, around 1 million strays are reported to be roaming the streets of Houston. Many of them are horribly abused, neglected, and simply left to die. [1]

Due to overpopulation and overcrowding, shelters are sadly forced to euthanize a lot of animals. 

Hopefully, these three puppies will face a different destiny than the other strays in the Houston area. 

Their story shines a spotlight on everyday struggles and resilience of the human spirit, and the profound impact of one person’s selfless actions in the face of adversity. 

[1] Anubhuti, S., Siddhali Shree, S. (Directors) (2023). For the Animals [Film]. RouTTe One Productions.