Orphan puppies urgently need a mum

Home emergency c-section after dog death

Last updated 11:35 08/10/2012

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Five day-old puppies urgently need a surrogate mother after their owners had to remove them from their pregnant mother when she was run over and killed.

Houghton Bay resident Sophie Legge was walking her pregnant two-year-old Staffordshire terrier Sui last night when she was hit by a taxi driver at a pedestrian crossing.

''I don't know what happened, she was on a leash right beside me but he said he was looking down the road for cars and didn't see me. She was really just everything to us. I just don't understand how these things happen so quickly.''

She and her husband had to open Sui up and take the puppies out themselves. The puppies were not due until the end of the week and one died in the process. The rest of the litter are now alive and in need of constant attention.

Mrs Legge had stayed up all night to feed the puppies who were being given puppy milk and formula every half hour.

''I'm just trying to find a surrogate mother to feed them. I don't think they have a very strong chance of surviving.

Sometimes they will accept other puppies or maybe there's a dog which has lost a few and has extra milk.''

Wellington SPCA spokesman James Craw said the owners had been in contact and had been given supplies and advice. ''We'll keep in constant communication with the owners and provide them with ongoing advice and support to maximise the chances of these puppies surviving.''

He said puppies separated from their mother had a typically low survival rate, even with constant care. ''An alternative to a surrogate canine mum is to find a person who can bottle-feed the puppies for at least the next 5-6 weeks every hour, but this is a massive commitment for anyone to have to make.''

Mr Craw said it was not unlikely that another dog would adopt the puppies but the difficulty lay in finding a suitable dog and an owner who would be willing.

Contact Shabnam Dastgheib
Email: shabnam.dastgheib@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @shab_d

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- The Dominion Post


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