Volunteers at Pawprints Dog Rescue in Rugby got more than they bargained for when they took in an abandoned pregnant dog.
A scan had detected six puppies - but on the day of arrival, a total of 11 were born to Megan.
Followers on their Facebook group, Rugby Pawprints Dogs, watched for hours as updates on the progress were uploaded from the maternity unit hastily put together by supporters of Pawprints.
Pawprints founder Anita Twigger said: “We were expecting six, and thought there may be others hiding when scanned, but we could not believe how many pups this poor little girl had inside of her.
“She was very tired by pup number eight and we did have to give her a helping hand, but Megan did a fantastic job of getting them all cleaned and fed. It is quite uncomfortable for her trying to allow all the puppies to suckle at once, but she is managing and we hope that she produces enough milk as under the disguise of being heavily pregnant, she is very thin and underweight.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to the amazing supporters of Pawprints who have provided everything so far from puppy food to a whelping pen. We are totally overwhelmed at the support Megan has received, a stray unloved and unwanted dog.”
Over 3,500 people are avidly watching ‘Megan’s Pupdates’, where ‘she’ posts as herself describing Pawprints staff and volunteers as her “slaves” and talks frankly about how she views her puppies as “wet rats” when they were first born and she was afraid of them.
Pawprints has set up a puppy fund to help with the cost of vaccinations, worming, feeding and eventually neutering all of the puppies. Volunteer Sue Hughes said:: “It is lovely that we have helped Megan and all 11 puppies have been born safely, but whilst these puppies may be easy to rehome, it will leave adult dogs, especially the overbred Staffy types simply stuck in rescue.
“It also takes Pawprints up to double its usual intake which will be a stretch on limited funding and resources. We are then unable to help dogs at immediate risk in local pounds. “
Pawprints is hoping that the new puppies will generate more interest in the breed, which volunteers believe is “thoroughly and horribly” overbred.
Visit Rugby Pawprints (Dogs) on Facebook or see www.pawprintsdogrescue.org for more information.