Dogs have been known to play cat and climb trees on very rare occasions. But finding a dog who has actually been living in a tree is downright unheard of—that is, until now.
Meet Maple, a 4-month-old brindle and white German Shepherd–American Pit Bull Terrier mix. A concerned citizen called the Michigan Humane Society to report that little Maple was living in a tree on the west side of Detroit, almost like a canine Keebler Elf.
“I got a call for a dog in a tree, which is very weird,”said Michigan Humane Society rescuer Chris Ouwerkerk. “Had cats in trees, not dogs.”
Ouwerkerk hopped in the Humane Society van and arrived at the scene. What he found surprised the seasoned animal rescuer.
“Go to the call. The dog was actually living inside a burrowed-out part of a tree,” Ouwerkerk described. Maple likely moved into the tree because it was the warmest shelter she could find in the cold.
“Basically the dog turned the tree into a doghouse,” says Ouwerkerk. “Dogs are pretty smart, and I think this one might have a one-up on some dogs. She’s pretty smart,” the rescuer said of Maple.
“She ran out of the tree. She was really happy to see somebody. She was very loving,” Ouwerkerk says in the rescue video.
The Michigan Humane Society says that they rescued Maple just in time. As the cold weather moves in and winter kicks in full force in the Great Lakes State, it is likely that Maple would not have been able to survive for much longer, especially with only a short coat of hair to protect her from the harsh temperatures.
Maple is now safe and warm in her new foster home, resting up while she recovers from an upper-respiratory illness. She will be put up for adoption when she gets the all clear from the shelter’s veterinarian.
If you would like to help Maple and the other animals in the care of the Michigan Humane Society, please consider making a donation. For more information and a list of much-needed supplies, visit the Michigan Humane Society website.