The Dog Underground

Jul 13, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets

by Krista Davis

Mystery author Krista Davis shares with us here some of the inspiration behind the animal rescue aspect of her latest book The Diva Frosts A Cupcake, and shares what she learned about animal rescue transport, or the dog underground. You can find a review & giveaway of The Diva Frosts A Cupcake in this issue.

About ten years ago, someone dumped a litter of puppies on my road. I didn’t have the heart to bring them to the pound where those sweet babies would have to lay on cold concrete. And I couldn’t bear to think what might happen to them if they weren’t adopted, so they landed in my laundry room. About eight weeks old, they were weaned and readily gobbled kibble.

My ten-month-old golden retriever loomed over the little puppies like a giant but treated them like they were her babies. She gladly allowed them to pull on her tail and crawl over her. They snuggled with her and played tug with her. She was thrilled to have so many companions.

Sweet Gretel inspired the character of Daisy in the Domestic Diva Mysteries

I built a little makeshift corral for them outside the laundry room door where they could play and race around. As much as I would have liked to keep them all, I knew I had to find homes for them. I soon discovered that while puppies are wonderful and fun, eight of them are a lot of work. That helped me move forward with the task of finding homes for them. A kind person passed along the name of a woman in New England who had pre-approved homes ready and waiting for puppies.

I kept two of the puppies, and two of them were adopted locally. But the rest took the ride of their lives. Before that time, I had no idea that there is a dog underground in the United States. On the east coast, most of the rescue dog traffic moves from South to North. But dog transportation networks work from coast to coast. I know of two huge German Shepherds who were recently saved from a California shelter and transported to a German Shepherd rescue group in North Carolina.

Adorable Snuggles went to a new home in New England.

Some of the transport groups work with chosen breeds. I’ve seen postings on Yahoogroups and Facebook, asking for transportation. They usually look something like this. Transport needed for two rescued dogs from Columbia, South Carolina to Portland, Maine. They often include the breed, weight, and other general information like whether the dogs can be crated. Some people break the trip into legs and ask for volunteers. A leg can be as short as an hour. There are even truckers who offer to transport animals. Gotta love those guys. They’re driving anyway, so they might as well take a dog to a place where it will be safe and loved.

In my case, I drove the puppies northeast about one hour. Two sweet young women met me in a college parking lot where the puppies were transferred to their car. I admit being a little teary when I waved goodbye to those precious babies. The young women drove them north five hours to the next person. The trip to Vermont was successful, and all the puppies were in their new homes within days. The very big boy went to a foster home that adopted him immediately. The athletic brindle alpha girl went to a family with children who camp and hike and love the outdoors. The rescue coordinator picked perfect homes for those pups.

The largest of the puppies, Han grew to 110 pounds.

Across the country, there are thousands of incredible people who receive no recognition for the time and effort they put into helping homeless animals. Knowing that they saved an animal is all the reward they need. I am in awe of them and their devotion to animals.

My most recent mystery, The Diva Frosts A Cupcake is about a Cupcakes and Pupcakes fundraiser for shelters. It’s a weekend long event that includes a black tie eight-course cupcake dinner for people and corresponding pupcakes for dogs in attendance. Nina Reid Norwood, the sidekick in the series, has a passion for animal rescue, but after the trouble she encounters during Cupcakes and Pupcakes weekend, she may never raise funds again. The dogs and cats are extremely well mannered, of course. It’s the people who cause so many problems, including murder.

My love of dogs and cats is at the root of my new Paws & Claws mystery series. The first book, Murder She Barked, will be released in December. Imagine a vacation resort in the mountains where dogs and cats are welcome; where restaurants have special menus for our furry friends, and there’s a daily Yappy Hour. Special cat guest rooms feature screened porches with trees for kitties to climb. And, of course, no pet resort would be complete with masseuses and pet psychics, just to be sure they’re having fun!

You can find more pet related articles in our pet section.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Krista Davis, like her characters, has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats. THE DIVA FROSTS A CUPCAKE is the seventh book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the New York Times Bestseller list. In December, Krista’s new series, the Paws and Claws Mysteries, will debut with Murder, She Barked. Krista blogs at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and Killer Characters. Visit Krista at her website and keep up with her at Pinterest, Facebook and on Twitter.


  1. I’ll definitely share this link with my sister, who works with a dog rescue group in Texarkana, Texas. She takes sad little creatures, cleans them up, trains them a bit, then helps find homes for them. Thanks, Krista and Lorie!

    • Bobbi, you’re lucky to have such a kind sister.


  2. This is a great story. The rescue where my dog came from had her transported north to Pennsylvania. They get a load of dogs from down South. Looking forward to reading the story.

    • Cathy, there’s a huge effort to move homeless dogs from the South to the North. I don’t quite understand why, although I hear the North has more stringent neuter and spay laws.


  3. Wow you’re so sweet and kindhearted… I remember I did the same thing but with kittens. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Sue, I did something similar with kittens, too. But my friend was the one who made sure they all found homes. Dogs and cats are just so helpless. They deserve to be in loving homes!



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