Three pregnant canine mothers find shelter just in time


With December nights dropping to freezing temperatures, three expectant dog mothers hunkered together in their yard in a Southern California desert town. What had once been the backyard of their home had become a deadly situation, as their owners had moved away and left the trio of young mothers exposed to the elements, and without anyone to feed or care for them. A concerned neighbor found them and brought them to a local shelter, but, already overwhelmed with animals to care for they had to find somewhere else for the mothers to stay. Call after call, the rescue coordinator desperately searched for shelter for the mothers. Then they called Helen Woodward Animal Center.

In no time at all, the staff at Helen Woodward Animal Center had rounded up a team to drive to the desert facility to retrieve the dogs. They arrived at the Helen Woodward Animal Center early Dec. 22, and were swiftly settled into loving foster homes after receiving clean bills of health. All three canines are chihuahua/pug blends between the ages of 10 months and 18 months old and have been named Mary, Noel, and Bethlehem in honor of the Christmastime miracle. All three have now given birth to a combined total of 18 puppies.

“Not all shelters can take in pregnant mothers,” said Center spokesperson Mindy Wright. “It takes a lot more resources from our medical team, our foster network, and our staff to care for moms and their puppies than it would to take a single dog, but we know the miracle of saving those mothers is that every rescued litter of puppies multiplies the love that exists in the world. It’s extra-special to be able to give to these expectant mothers during Christmastime. It’s the kind of miracle we work year-round to make possible.”

The three mothers were resting and gave birth not in a barn, but in warm, loving foster homes in San Diego. After weaning, the mothers will be spayed and the puppies will be altered and vaccinated. All are expected to find homes quickly. Visit

— Helen Woodward Animal Center report