The pregnant golden retriever-chow mix, who is believed to be between 2 and 4 years old according to WDAF – TV Kansas City, was pulled off a Missouri shelter’s euthanasia list by Ashlee Holland only two weeks before giving birth.
Ava was pregnant dog and wound up giving birth two weeks after Holland rescued her.
Holland knew that Ava had no other hope and said no dog deserves to be put to sleep just to “free up space” at a shelter. So Holland took Ava in and fostered her.
Holland knew Ava as pregnant dog , but she had no idea that she’d wind up having so many puppies.
X-rays didn’t show how many, so she was in for a huge surprise when Ava wound up giving birth to 18 puppies!
“She was on the euthanasia list. She had no other choice, no other hope,” said Holland. “I was basically her last resort along with Midwest Animal ResQ. No dog deserves to be put to sleep for space.”
As the shelter’s Facebook post noted, Holland had never fostered a mother dog before. But she couldn’t turn away from the mama dog in need.
On June 25, Ava went into labor. Her first puppy was born at 10:02 p.m., then four more arrived within the hour.
“She took a little break, had puppy no. 6, another break and then puppy no. 7 at 12:33 a.m.,” Holland posted on Facebook.
“All signs showed that she was done having puppies as she had calmed down, wasn’t having anymore contractions, and was caring for her 7 new babies.”
“Ava got cleaned up and taken care of. her bedding was changed and we called it a night, only to wake up to 8 more puppies!!! We were now at 15! I had to tend to my kids and get them ready for summer school and came back to find out she had given birth to another 3 pups! This mama is incredible!” wrote Holland.
In all, Ava delivered 18 healthy puppies. Said Holland, “It’s overwhelming. It’s incredible. I didn’t just save one life, I saved 19. It’s amazing.”
The animal lover and her 9-year-old son are Kansas City Royals fans, so accordingly, they’ve named the puppies after players on the team.
“We got Ned Yost, Dayton Moore, Buck O’Neil. We got Esky, Royal…” she said. “It’s heaven. Puppy pile, you can’t get any better than that.”