Update on surrendered Lab mom and 11 puppies - BC SPCA
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Update on surrendered Lab mom and 11 puppies

May 5, 2023

The 11 puppies were tiny. They were only eight-days-old when they were surrendered to the BC SPCA by a breeder, the latest in a wave of puppy surrenders this year. “We have had almost 350 puppies come into care so far this year, compared to 200 at this time last year,” says Eileen Drever, the BC SPCA’s senior officer for protection and stakeholder relations. The puppies would all need to be treated for roundworm and giardia.

Who stepped up to take care of this new family? A new foster family! “We have never been fosters before,” says Andoni. “It fell into our lap – it was a ‘go big or go home’ moment,” he says. “We are happy to do what we can. We figured no matter how hard it might get, there is an end in sight.”

Andoni adds that the whole family was on board for taking care of these beautiful puppies and their mom including his two children who are 14 and 16. Even their eight-year-old golden retriever Charlie has been accommodating to the house guests. “He really wanted to meet the puppies, but we keep them in separate rooms. Mom is naturally very protective.”

When asked how everyone is doing, Andoni is happy to reply that the family is doing really well. “The puppies are developing personalities and wagging their tails when we come into the room,” he says. “Mom is doing such a wonderful job.”

The priority for the foster family is to make sure that Mom and the puppies get enough to eat. “We feed mom three to four times a day, twice in the first half and twice in the second half of the day,” says Andoni. The puppies will take any opportunity they can to feed but have been pretty much following mom’s schedule. “Mom can only feed eight puppies at one time so it has been entertaining watching the eleven puppies play a game of musical chairs when it comes time to feed. When a puppy is full and falls asleep, the next puppy who still needs to eat finds their way to the open spot.”

The biggest challenge they have faced so far?  “The puppies are four-weeks-old now and are big enough to escape from the kiddie pool so we have been doing a lot of mopping and making sure puppy pads are out in the right spot.”

Andoni adds that his two children have been very involved in caring for mom and the puppies and have been enjoying having them in the home.  “They have been helping to weigh the pups to make sure they are getting enough to eat,” says Andoni. “When the puppies are snoozing, they take mom out for a walk.”

Despite everything that she has been through, Mom is doing an amazing job. “She is taking the best care of her pups,” says Andoni. “She is constantly licking them clean, and she is so patient – there are eleven puppies to care for and they constantly need her attention. She only gets a break when they are sleeping. Her walks are only two blocks long because she wants to get back to them as quickly as possible.”

Andoni adds that she is a very friendly, sweet dog. When they take her out for a walk and someone approaches, her tail immediately starts wagging.  “She is so wonderful. I hope when she is available for adoption, she doesn’t get over-shadowed by the cuteness of the puppies.”