Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bella the beagle gives birth to seven pups in the OHS shelter!

Bella is a three-year-old beagle who arrived at the OHS two weeks ago, scared and alone. She was picked up on the outskirts of the city’s west end by bylaw officers. When the OHS veterinarian first saw Bella, she was concerned that the dog’s severely swollen abdomen was a sign of a pregnancy in trouble. Bella’s belly was uncommonly large, and it caused her great difficulty in moving around. In fact, Bella was capable of little more than eating and making short trips outside for fresh air. She spent most of the time sleeping in her cage, adding to the clinic staff’s worry for her well-being.

X-ray of the puppies in Bella's tummy!

But an X-ray just a few days after Bella’s arrival confirmed what Bella likely knew and we didn’t — her unborn pups were fine and she would deliver them very soon. Without an owner to claim her, and with no appropriate foster home available on such short notice, OHS staff did their best to make Bella as comfortable as possible. When they said goodbye to her on a Sunday evening, Bella was tired, but still the lovable and friendly pup who had worked her way into our hearts. On Monday morning, when staff went to check on her, Bella had a surprise waiting: seven tiny surprises in fact! Overnight, and seemingly without much difficulty, Bella had given birth to seven identical black and white pups.

Bella has proven to be a natural and relaxed mom. She caters to her pups, gently rolling over when they squeak loudly to feed. Bella has since moved into a foster home where she can nurse and care for her new family in quieter surroundings. She’ll also continue to receive the medicine needed to control the kennel cough she picked up while in the shelter, an unfortunate consequence of our crowded building where the immune systems of vulnerable animals are compromised.

In about eight weeks or so, when the pups are weaned, and healthy enough and old enough to be adopted, they’ll return to the shelter to find new and loving homes of their own. Bella will return as well, and she’ll be spayed, then she too will find a new family who will love and care for her forever.

Please help Bella and her new bundles of joy as they spend the next months in the care of an OHS foster home. Your gift will ensure this growing family will receive the regular veterinary check-ups, ongoing medical attention, food and love they need until they’re all ready for new homes.

Please help Bella, and other animals like her in need of emergency animal treatment, by making a donation.

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