Local dog helping care for 11 orphaned puppies

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - An incredible story of a mother's love from the animal kingdom. A dog that recently gave birth to a litter of puppies died earlier this week, leaving her 11 pups without a mom. The local rescue group Lucas County Pit Crew and another new mom stepped in to help.

Della has a new family. She's helping raise 11 orphaned puppies. Jean Keating is the Executive Director of the Lucas County Pit Crew,"We're through the most difficult part, which was the first 24 hours. She's cleaning them, she's accepted them, and everybody is eating."

While things are good for Della now, that wasn't always the case.
Della was picked up as a stray, she was pregnant and seriously hurt.
Her five puppies had to be delivered by C-section, "Della was in pain when she came in. She had a series fracture in her pelvis and it does not appear that the injury was from a car accident. It looks like she was hit by someone several times with a hard object."

Della was transferred from Lucas County Canine Care and Control to the Lucas County Pit Crew. Her five puppies are doing well, and she's made a remarkable recovery.

So here's how Della ended up with the second litter. She was headed back to the vet for a check up when fate stepped in. Members of the Pit Crew learned the other mom being cared for at the vet wouldn't make it. So they decided to give Della a try with the litter, "We started working with Della trying to give her scent to the puppies and rubbing the puppies on her fur and showing them to her. It didn't take long for Della to say I got this!"

Katie Hertzfeld took care of Della and her litter. She's now taking care of Della and her new family. She has to make sure all the pups are fed every hour or so, "I have them on a special feeding schedule because there are 11 of them. I separate them into two groups, and I rotate them for the feedings."

She has one wish for this very special dog, "When it comes time for her adoption she deserves a wonderful home, and we're going to make sure that happens."

The puppies will continue to nurse for another three weeks. After that they will be weaned, which will take about two weeks. They will be up for adoption in August. Della will be up for adoption after the puppies are weaned and she's given a clean bill of health.

Of course the vet bills are adding up in this case. If you'd like to make a donation to the Lucas County Pit Crew to help Della, the puppies as well as all the other animals in their care, we've posted a link.