Whenever you agree to foster an animal, you know you are going to get your heart warmed. Nothing is more appreciative of every little thing you do for them than a foster animal.
You can pretty much bet that you will be repaid ten-fold for every bit of effort you put into giving a homeless dog a happy and safe home.
Sometimes you get a lot more than you bargained for too. That was the case when a beautiful pit bull female was placed in a foster home after being brought to a shelter.
She had been found wandering the streets, hungry and afraid. After a brief evaluation, the shelter placed her in one of their responsible foster homes.
A few weeks later it became obvious that the sweet little lady was going to become a mother. This was definitely a case of getting more than a foster home had bargained for. They just didn’t know yet how big that “bargain” was going to be!
The first weeks of her pregnancy had gone by without her getting any of the extra nutritional and health care that’s necessary to ensure healthy babies in a safe delivery.
Her foster wanted to make sure they did everything possible to make things go smoothly for the poor girl. So, they called their vet to make her a prenatal appointment.
They were experienced in delivering puppies, so they knew the right questions to ask the vet. One of them was, “how many puppies do you think she will have?”
There really is no way to ever know the exact number of fetuses, but vets can usually get pretty close by counting the spines they can see in an X-ray of the mother dog’s womb.
They took the mother dog into the back to take X-rays while her fosters waited anxiously for the verdict. Raising a little of puppies the right way is extremely hard work. The more puppies, the more work.
Different breeds have different sizes of litters. Usually the smaller the dog, the smaller the litter.
That theory stands up when you check out the world record number of puppies born to a single mother. A Neopolitan Mastiff in England holds the world record, since 2004, after delivering 24 puppies.
On the other hand, it isn’t uncommon for toy breeds to only have one or two puppies. The foster parents were expecting something a little more average. Like five or six.
When the vet came back in the room and put an X-ray on the viewer, everyone in the room gasped. Her womb was wall to wall with puppies!
So many that even the experienced vet could not count them.
“Quite frankly,” the foster mom wrote, “it’s impossible to tell exactly how many pups there are — it could be seven or eight, but it could also be 12 or 13. Without taking a bunch of X-rays from different angles, it’s not even possible for the vet to figure it out.”
X-rays aren’t cheap, and it could be dangerous to take a lot of different views that late in the pregnancy. So, they took their girl back home still not knowing how many puppies to prepare for.
But, they knew one thing for sure. It was going to be a lot of them!
Many stray dogs give birth alone in dirty alleyways, under houses and porches, anywhere they can find a bit of shelter. This little girl had gotten lucky.
She would be giving birth in a nice clean whelping box, surrounded by humans that would get her immediate help if problems popped up along with the puppies.
She also would not have to worry about taking care of the puppies alone once they got here. Her foster mother had already contacted the shelter to tell them that they were “foster failures”.
They had decided to adopt their beautiful pit bull friend as soon as she had delivered her puppies. They knew that the puppies would be quickly adopted out to responsible well-screened homes, but the mother’s fate would not be so positive.
Pit bulls in shelters have a low rate of being adopted out. Their only hope is to be seen by someone that has ties to a specific pit bull rescue group. Pregnant ones have even less of a chance.
This little girl won’t have to ever worry about that again. She will be spayed shortly after her puppies are weaned and no longer nursing.
All of the puppies will be spayed or neutered when they are old enough, too. This will stop the cycle of bringing homeless puppies in the world. At least for this one dog.
According to the math of a national rescue group, in 6 years one unspayed female dog and her offspring and their offspring, can produce 67,000 dogs. And, that’s an average dog with average litters.
Looking at this X-ray, I can’t comprehend the potential disaster if this little girl hadn’t fallen into such good hands.
We can’t wait to hear how many puppies finally arrived. Check back. We’ll let you know as soon as we find out!
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