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Dog who lost her pups at birth nurses litter left orphaned after Oklahoma tornados

bertha

An Indiana dog who lost all eight of her pups at birth is now nursing six newborn pups left orphaned after the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

The Indiana dog, a 2-year-old Rottweiler mix living at a shelter in South Bend, was close to giving birth, but also close to being put down, when she was rescued by Second Chance 4 Pets Network and taken in as a foster by one of the group’s volunteers.

After a prolonged period of labor the dog, named Bertha, was taken to the vet.

“…They did an emergency C-section on her but all of her puppies, eight of them, were dead,” said JoAnn Palko, president and founder of Second Chance 4 Pets.

The group put word out to other rescues in the region, saying they had a lactating dog who could help if any group had puppies who needed to nurse — and that’s when they heard from another rescue, that had just acquired six newborn pups from an Oklahoma City shelter, according to NWI.com.

In the wake of the tornadoes there, a homeless and pregnant pit bull-shepherd mix ended up in a shelter. Staff deemed her aggressive. (Uunder those circumstances, who wouldn’t be?) After giving birth, she was put down.

Her six orphaned pups, rescued by Lakeshore PAWS, were brought to Merrillville to meet Bertha.

“She was unsure at first, but the foster got into the pool with her and she started cleaning them right away,” Pelko said.

“Here they had this sad mom and we had these puppies who needed help,” said Jeanne Sommer, director of Lakeshore PAWS said. “It worked out great for all of us.”

The puppies, who are just over a week old, are thriving, Palko said.

Second Chance is now considering training Bertha to be a therapy dog.

Comments

Comment from selkie
Time June 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

OK- the most horrific thing about this is the shelter putting down that poor pittie – of COURSE she was not herself! She is pregnant, she is in a strange place, she has just gone through a horrendous experirence and they KILL HER. And JUST when she has her pups? So if they had not been to find someone to take them in, those pups would have died too – unbelievable.

Comment from KateH
Time June 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Did the Oklahoma ‘shelter’ bother to think that someone might have been searching for their dog, or did they just declare her ‘homeless’ so they could kill her? I realize that that ‘shelter’ might have been a bit overwhelmed with tornado-related issues (fewer staff/volunteers and more loose dogs needing to be housed so their owners could find them), but just killing a scared dog who’s just given birth is just cruel.

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