Time was running out for a sweet pregnant golden chow mix dog named Ava. Ava was picked up off the streets and then sent to a crowded animal shelter. Soon after, she was put on the euthanasia list.
The shelter was aware that Ava was pregnant when they set to have her euthanized. However, they were already short on space and figured that adding Ava and her puppies once they arrived would not be feasible.
Luckily, an Animal Control officer decided to try and get help elsewhere for Ava and her then unborn babies. The Animal Control officer reached out to several rescues and no one would take Ava in but Midwest Animal RescQ (MARQ). MARQ took the dog in and requested the necessary assistance of a foster. That's where one very wonderful volunteer foster parent named Ashlee Holland stepped up to the plate.
"She had no other choice, no other hope. I was basically her last resort along with Midwest Animal ResQ. No dog deserves to be put to sleep for space. I was aware she was having puppies but x-rays didn't show how many," Holland told Fox 4 News.
On Sunday night, nearly two weeks after bringing Ava home, the dog gave birth to a whopping 18 healthy puppies.
"Ava went into labor 6-25 and had her 1st puppy at 10:02 p.m. She went on to have another 4 puppies within 57 minutes. She took a little break, had puppy #6, another break and then puppy #7 at 12:33 a.m. 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 and 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," said Holland in a Facebook update.
All of the puppies were named by Holland's nine-year old son. Her son gave them names inspired by the Kansas City Royals–his favorite baseball team.
"It’s overwhelming. It’s incredible. I didn’t just save one life, I saved 19. It’s amazing," Holland told Fox 4 News.
Written By: Liesel