CHIPLEY, Fla. The average dog gives birth to 4-to-6 puppies per litter. So you could say a Washington County dog's pregnancy was anything but average. Four doctors worked 6 and a half hours to save the patient and deliver 17-puppies.
It all started when Jade, a mixed-breed dog, went into labor at the Northwest Florida Animal Control Shelter in Chipley. "Jade" quickly went into distress.
She was rushed to Panhandle Veterinarian Services in Chipley where dr. Todd Anderson made a quick decision as to how to handle the emergency. "We had to take her forward to get a C- section."
It didn’t take long for Dr. Anderson to realize this wasn't going to be a normal delivery. "We saw a host of puppies. At that point we called the staff in and all the doctors in our clinic helped."
The vets removed one puppy, then another, and another. After 6 and a half hours later they'd delivered 17-puppies. "We have to suction their mouth, get them cleaned up, dry them off, warm them up and massage them so they start breathing, so they are awake and looking for food."
Three of the puppies died. Once they others were well enough to travel, Dr. Anderson sent Jade and her 14-pups to the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport. Laurie Hood at Alaqua says "There are certain situations that pull at your heartstrings, and this was certainly the case for this beautiful dog. When I received the call that she had been found pregnant, had 19 puppies, and that all four vets at Panhandle Veterinary Clinic had worked so hard for her puppies, I just had to offer our help.
Hood, Alaqua's founder, told us "It was defiantly a group effort and I would do just about anything for Belva at Animal Control of West Florida. She is a miracle worker!"
Alaqua staff will foster the dogs until they're old enough to be adopted.
Dr. Anderson has hope for the furry family. "They all find a positive, helpful, friendly, warm home." They should be ready for adoption is 6 to 8 weeks.