Virginia delivery driver Alex Badecker ended up adopting one of the pups after taking the dogs to an animal rescue for assistance
Delivery drivers are stepping up for the animals.
A few days after a postal worker saved a family’s dog from a snake bite, a delivery driver in Virginia did everything they could during a recent shift to help two struggling abandoned pups.
The driver, Alex Badecker, didn’t expect things to take an emotional turn on their delivery route last month, but they ultimately came across something heart-wrenching. On the side of the road, Badecker, who uses they/them pronouns, spotted two emaciated pitbull mixes without any identification or owner in sight. One was brown and white — later named FedEx — and the other, who is entirely brown, was given the name Iris. Both pups were starving and covered in wounds.
“Usually, Mondays this time of year, I stop and get a turtle or two out of the road, but when I saw the two of them laying there, I was worried they’d get hit, so I wanted to check them for tags,” Badecker tells PEOPLE of the moment.
“When I stopped and got out, I almost cried; they looked so bad. I knew I needed to finish that last delivery, but I kept thinking it would be wrong to leave them,” they add.
Badecker didn’t hesitate to help when they saw the condition of the abandoned dogs. They immediately contacted Debra Morgan, who runs a local animal rescue called Morgan’s Mutts in Amelia County. Morgan took the pups in and started providing the pets with much-needed care.
“I was so thankful they agreed to help, and I was worried that the longer they stayed there in the road (they weren’t moving quickly, and Iris at the time wasn’t walking great), something would happen to them,” Badecker says. “I went on break and went back to them.”
PEOPLE spoke with Morgan, who recounted what happened after the pups arrived at her shelter.
Sadly, Morgan confirmed that FedEx did not survive. After the dog arrived, he wasn’t eating, and it was speculated that he either had a twisted intestine or a mass, but in his sickly state, he couldn’t handle surgery to address the issue.
“After speaking in depth with the vet, I called everyone I knew to see if there was any way to get him healthy enough to undergo surgery, but unfortunately, he was just too weak and malnourished,” Morgan explains. “We made the decision to humanely euthanize. He was giving me kisses right up till the sedation kicked in. He was so sweet, and it broke my heart.”
Following FedEx’s death, Morgan focused on finding a home for Iris to recover in, and a familiar face decided to offer their abode.
“After I posted FedEx’s passing, Alex reached out to foster-to-adopt Iris. We took her to the vet to be sure she was on the right track and to get vaccines,” Morgan says of how Badecker reacted to the news of FedEx’s death.
After the vet gave the pup the okay to move into a home, the delivery driver reunited with Iris and officially decided to adopt her.
“She has gained good weight and is still a happy, silly, affectionate goofball,” Morgan says of Iris. “She will be spayed this Friday, and we will make the adoption official soon after!”
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Badecker is elated. Iris joined the driver’s older dog, and the two new canine siblings are getting along well. Badecker is looking forward to their fluffy family’s future.
“She’s such a little ball of energy and love,” Badecker says.
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