Houston woman goes viral after saving puppy left in ditch



The power of TikTok was on full display this week after a Houston woman went viral for rescuing a puppy discovered hidden in piles of trash in a ditch near Third Ward in Houston.

Taylor Dixon, a 31-year-old mortgage underwriter and freelance social media marketer, said she was taking her dog Caine for a walk with her nieces during her lunch break Monday when she came across a ditch overflowing with garbage off Jutland Road and Pederson Street near her sister’s neighborhood. “There was an entire toilet seat, a purple wig on the ground,” she said. “It was a lot. It was so much trash.”

To her shock, hidden among all the junk was an abandoned pitbull puppy peering at her from beneath an overturned table. Hoping that the puppy was just lost and its owner might come for it soon, Dixon left the animal water and returned to work.


“When it comes to a lot of trash and just being in an unfamiliar area, I was scared to touch the stuff, ” Dixon said, adding she didn’t come back at night because it wasn’t safe to be there alone. “It was nasty. And then there’s snakes and possums. I just wanted somebody with me.”

On Tuesday morning, Dixon returned with her sister and nieces and brought along food and water, hoping that the puppy wouldn’t still be there. The dog had remained at the forefront of her mind, and was still there when she returned. “The reason I went back was because I could not rest. It was on my heart, on my mind,” she said. “I was tossing and turning all night. There was absolutely no way that I was not going to drive back over there and check on that puppy.” 

They fed and bathed the puppy, with Dixon documenting the rescue on TikTok in hopes that someone would eventually help find its forever home. Since she’s moving away from Houston soon and already owns a large dog (Caine is a Great Pyrenees), Dixon knew she couldn’t keep it. 

@tjadedix I’ll never understand how ppl can be so cruel but babygirl will be okay! If anyone knows of someone in Houston that might want a sweet baby girl pup, pls lmk ❤️🤞🏾 #ReTokforNature #PostitAffirmations #fyp #fypシ #fypage #abandoned #abandonedpuppies #abandonedpuppy #dogrescue #dogrescuer #dogrescuecheck #houston #houstontx #puppylove #puppytiktok #puppy ♬ Ambient-style emotional piano – MoppySound


“Mommy, he’s so beautiful!” Dixon’s nieces can be heard shouting in the video. Dixon’s dog can be heard crying as it approached the pup. To her surprise and joy, Dixon’s TikTok swiftly gained traction on the platform, garnering over four million views and over 690,000 likes since it was posted Monday. In addition to comments calling her a hero, she also received thousands of requests from people in and out of state interested in adopting the pup.

Overwhelmed, Dixon said she was barely able to keep up with all the responses. “I did not for one second expect for it to take off the way it did. None of my videos have done that so I didn’t expect that at all,” she said. “It literally made me so happy, just elated.” 

However, not all reactions were positive. Dixon said she received one comment accusing her of planting the puppy for TikTok fame. “The person didn’t even have a profile picture so that says a lot about them,” she said. “I just told them that I would pray for them because obviously they’re dealing with something internally and taking it out on others.”

Others have criticized her for leaving the puppy overnight—a charge for which she said she has no excuse. “I should’ve maybe called my boss to tell her the situation and hoped that she’d understand so I could handle the puppy situation,” Dixon said. “If I could do it over again, I totally wouldn’t have ever left her because anything could’ve happened. I’m so happy and relieved she was still there when I went back the next morning.”

After posting about the puppy on a neighborhood Facebook page, the dog initially went home on Tuesday with a man from Missouri City who reached out to Dixon wanting to surprise his wife with a dog. However, the arrangement didn’t work out and the pup was returned to Dixon on Wednesday. Still determined, Dixon posted another TikTok asking for help. 

@tjadedix Update on abandoned puppy: Shes literally so adorable 🙁 someone pls help so I can rest at night! #update ##fyp #fypシ #fypage #foryou #abandoned #33333 #ReTokforNature #PostitAffirmations #pupp #pup #puppy #puppylove #puppylover #puppylovers #dogrescue #dogrescuecheck #abandonedpuppy #abandoneddog #houston #houstontx ♬ Ambient-style emotional piano – MoppySound

Early Thursday, Dixon received a message from Sydney Ying, a 19-year-old dancer for the Houston Rockets, who expressed interest in adopting the dog. “I had never seen that street, like a place where people just dump trash,” Ying said about Dixon’s TikTok. “That already made me sad but then I continued watching it and I realized it was about a puppy! I watch a lot of dog rescue videos so it was crazy to see one in Houston.” 

Worried that the “precious” puppy would end up in a kill shelter or with someone who couldn’t provide her the care she needed, Ying said she “wanted to get a hold of her before anything bad happened to her to at least give her a chance.”

Sydney Ying, a 19-year-old dancer for the Houston Rockets, adopted a pitbull puppy that was found in a ditch in Houston after learning about it on TikTok.
Sydney Ying, a 19-year-old dancer for the Houston Rockets, adopted a pitbull puppy that was found in a ditch in Houston after learning about it on TikTok.

Sydney Ying

Within hours of getting in touch with Dixon, Ying took the puppy to the vet where she learned it was 12 weeks old and had some intestinal parasites. “She got her first round of vaccines and I had to get get her special food to increase her appetite since she is pretty malnourished,” Ying said. “She’s been taking a lot of naps but I can tell she’s going to be a big girl and is going to have a lot of energy.” 

@skyyy828 Replying to @josephinejames46 OK ACTUAL PUPPY UPDATE!!!! @tjadedix is the one who saved her🫶🏼 Sorry ik its choppy but i wanted y’all to see this strong baby!!! Sorry for the glitchy vid before, this is the real one!!! #dogrescue #abandonedpuppy #houstontx #puppy ♬ original sound – syd.at.sid


The pup is also getting along with Ying’s two other dogs, who are also rescues. “She’s been so sweet,” Ying said. “She’s been very kind and she’s pretty docile for a puppy, especially a pitbull puppy.” She is still deciding on whether to name her Luna or Ivy and plans to let her TikTok followers weigh in on which suits the pup best. 

Dixon said she’s grateful that TikTok brought her and Ying, who she now considers a friend, together. “TikTok found the puppy a perfect home,” she said. “I just feel so much better. I know she is safe and I can just feel the genuine love, like she’s getting all the affection and all the love in the world that she can possibly get right now.” 





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