Janitor Hears Noises Coming From Outside Before Uncovering Box With A Heartbreaking Message

Janitor Hears Noises Coming From Outside Before Uncovering Box With A Heartbreaking Message

On a quiet night in December, a school janitor was closing up for the night. The empty halls of the school were silent; all the students had gone home long ago. But something pierced through the silence: a soft cry echoing through the hallways. The janitor followed the sound to the school’s front door, where he found a mysterious box sitting unattended in the snow. When he looked inside, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

Silent Night

By the time 6 p.m. rolled around, the school’s hallways were silent. The janitor knew this silence well, and he was used to mopping the floors with only his thoughts to keep him company. But that particular night, everything changed. 

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

A Soft Echo

The janitor heard it as he was finishing up his nightly rounds of the halls: a soft whimpering noise. He froze. Like every night, he assumed he was the only person left in the entire school…so what was whimpering around the corner?

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Nothing in Sight

There was only one way to find out. The janitor rounded the corner and saw…nothing. But then he heard it again: The sound of something crying. And this time, he was determined to find where it was coming from. 

Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images

Through the Door

He was led to the front of the school, and he could tell the whimpering was coming from outside the front door. The janitor threw them open — and when he saw what was out there, all of his fear melted away.

Dreamworks Pictures

Puppy Eyes

Sitting on the stoop was a box, and when the janitor looked inside, he was greeted by the big brown eyes of a puppy. The janitor looked around for whoever left the box, but all he saw were street lamps and snow…

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

All Alone

That’s when he knew: This puppy was abandoned, and in the middle of a frigid Michigan winter. He quickly picked it up and carried it into the warmth of the school…which is when he noticed that the puppy wasn’t alone.

Bruno Borges / YouTube

Just Enough to Survive

Whoever found the puppy had tried their best to keep it safe and warm by leaving it with a blanket, food, and holes for breathing — and they also left a heartbreaking message for whoever found the sweet pup.

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

The Note

“Sorry it didn’t have a home and it was cold, so we’re going to give it to you,” the note read. “Please…find it a nice home.” The janitor knew he had to do right by the note…so he pulled out his phone.

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

Animal Lover

There was a teacher at the school who was famous for her love of dogs — and the janitor just happened to have her number. As soon as she heard the dog’s story, she hurried right over to the school to see it for herself.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Not Enough Space

She immediately fell in love, but there was a problem: There was no room left at her house. She already had five dogs running around her home, so as much as she adored the abandoned puppy, she just couldn’t take it in.

Photo by Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue

Thankfully, though, the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue took one look at the little pup and, like everyone else, quickly fell for its big eyes and adorable nose…but there was a problem. They just wouldn’t be able to take it in.

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

The Name Game

That is, not without a name! Everyone had been so concerned with finding the pup a home that they hadn’t even thought of naming it. But it couldn’t be nameless forever — and the teacher had the perfect name in mind.

Photo by Oleksandr Rupeta/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Meet Snowflake

The teacher named her Snowflake — fitting, considering how the little pup had survived the cold Michigan winter! And once the dog rescue team was able to take her in, the teacher hoped she’d be safe…

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Rescuers

As it turns out, the teacher had nothing to worry about. The Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue made it their mission to give stray dogs a safe home, so they seemed to be the ideal place for Snowflake to warm up.

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

A Fresh Start

And by sheer luck, Snowflake, was safe and sound — and ready for a makeover! Once she was fed and cleaned up, Snowflake started to perk up. As she returned to her sweet self, the rescue team knew they needed to get their cameras.  

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

Spreading the Word

The rescue team posted photos of Snowflake on social media with the hope that someone out there would adopt her. The end goal was to find her a forever home…but until then, the rescue team had plans for Snowflake.

WXYZ News

Festive Attire

Since the holidays were near, they dressed her in an adorable green Christmas sweater and gave her a Santa Claus toy to pal around with. She also posed in front of a Christmas tree — imagine finding her under your tree on Christmas morning!

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

New Pals

She was also able to make tons of new friends at the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue, from the kindhearted rescue volunteers to the other dogs at the foster home. Still, the reality of the situation was hard to forget.

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

Not Much Hope

You’d think a sweet pup like Snowflake would be adopted in a heartbeat, but she actually endured a heartbreaking disappointment just before Christmas when a potential owner ended up adopting a different dog instead. It seemed like she’d be spending Christmas alone…

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

A Home at Last

Until the very next day, when Snowflake was adopted! Snowflake’s new forever family was pretty firm in their belief that they had one of the craziest canine stories out there—until they heard of a woman by the name of Leah Barrett. Leah even says herself the nature of her circumstances were beyond bizarre. “It’s true,” she admitted. “I never would have believed it if it hadn’t happened to me.”

Detroit Pit Crew/Facebook

Experienced Breeder

A Kent native, Leah Barrett bred champions. Her black Labs were some of the best in town, and they were no strangers to dog shows. Still, there was no competition on the calendar when her pregnant black Labrador Beau left her stunned.

Phil Romans / Flickr

Dog Show Roots

Beau was always destined to do great things. Her lineage appeared at the Crufts dog show, an elite competition that honors the best and brightest in purebred canine companions. It’s a cutthroat pageant, and winning is a great honor.

Carl Court / Staff / Getty Images

Litter On The Way

So, when Beau became pregnant, Leah was over the moon. As a breeder, she made her living off of bringing new puppies into the world, and if the litter turned out to be champions like their ancestors, that boded well for her.

Stefan Cristian Cioata / Getty Images

Ordinary Pregnancy

At first, the pregnancy seemed to be pretty ordinary. No complications had arisen, and Beau seemed happy and healthy. Leah eagerly awaited the birth of the new baby Labs.

aquinastokant / Reddit

Five or Six Puppies

The vet predicted that Beau would produce five or six puppies, but Leah, a staunch believer in her pups, had even grander expectations. She estimated the litter would contain eight dogs. Neither she nor the vet had any idea what surprises awaited them.

xShayeRaex / YouTube

Time To Deliver

When Beau went into labor, Leah soon realized the true shocking nature of this pregnancy. The vet had told her to expect the delivery of each pup to take around an hour. This was not the case.

Nicolas Jooris-Ancion / Getty Images

Non-stop Puppies

Leah couldn’t believe her eyes as she watched seven little Labs pop out of Beau in only forty minutes. And she wasn’t done. The puppies continued to come. Suddenly there were eight, then nine…

Eyes Ears Nose and Paws / Facebook

Sudden Complication

Leah wondered when the birthing would end. Then, she noticed something that made her heart stop in her chest: one of the puppies had become trapped in Beau’s birth canal! It was blocked by the Lab’s placenta, which had come loose during the delivery.

Diane Seddon Photography / Getty Images

No Time For Help

Leah and her sister panicked. They couldn’t stand the thought of one of Beau’s children not surviving. However, there was no time to call in a medical professional. If the pup was going to make it, they’d have to make it so themselves.

urbancow / Getty Images

Acting Fast

After forty minutes of maneuvering, Leah and her sister finally retrieved the stuck puppy from the birth canal. But instead of breathing a sigh of relief, what they saw next horrified them even more.

ChrisAt / Getty Images

Lifesaving Strategy

The dog was not breathing or moving! For an awful moment, they feared it was too late to save her. But the women persevered. They had done their research and knew to use suction equipment to remove fluid from the small pup’s lungs.

Marble Mountain Kennels / YouTube

New Mother’s Feat

After a tense ten minutes that seemed more like two hours, the newborn finally started breathing! Leah and her sister were overjoyed, but they had more reasons than one to celebrate. New mother Beau had just done something incredible.

Infotainment / YouTube

More Than They Bargained For

Astoundingly, Beau had given birth to a grand total of thirteen puppies. Considering the average of six to eight dogs in a Labrador litter, Leah was thrilled. Beau had done something truly worthy of a Crufts’ champion. But caring for so many newborns would prove more difficult than anticipated.

obxsm / YouTube

Not Enough Milk

One problem that arose was that Beau had thirteen babies and only ten teats! Because of this, Leah had to wake up in the middle of the night to feed the runts and make sure that each of Beau’s children was happy, healthy, and well-cared for. 

jeepersmedia / Flickr

The Puppies

Of the thirteen, there were seven boys and six girls. Leah named each of them after their own unique personalities. A few of the pups stood out immediately, thanks to a few cute quirks.

Christopher Bellamy / Getty Images

Names With Meaning

The runt of the litter was given a strong name, Stormy, to “give him a boost.” One pup who howled a lot was named after a singer, Paloma Faith. And the puppy who almost didn’t make it? Leah called her Hope. 

Life With Labradors / YouTube

Nature At Its Finest

The thirteen siblings truly were testaments to the unpredictable nature of our animal friends and the strength Leah and her sister exhibited when they saved the at-risk puppy. Sadly, the litter wouldn’t be staying with them for long.

Michael Prince / Getty Images

Finding Worthy Homes

Thirteen puppies is a handful for even the most experienced dog owner to manage, so eleven of the pups were sold to new and loving homes. The descendants of champions didn’t come cheap though…

Pasticcio / Getty Images

Top Dollar

Leah asked 950 euros for each purebred pup, which comes out to around $1,222 in USD. This means that if she sold all of the Kennel Club-registered dogs at that price, she brought home over $13,000. Not bad for a day’s work!

Stefan Cristian Cioata / Getty Images