A cocker spaniel rescued last month from the barricaded home of a Rockville Centre woman gave birth to four puppies Thursday night.
Mama, the rescued cocker spaniel, went into labor about 11:45 p.m. Thursday at Long Island Veterinary Specialists in Plainview and delivered four puppies, said Dr. Dominic J. Marino, chief of staff at LIVS. He said one puppy was born extremely weak and has since died.
Mama, who Marino estimates to be about 5 years old, was rescued along with 21 other pets on Jan. 14 from the home of a 62-year-old disoriented woman who was barricaded inside with her pets, five of them dead. The woman was hospitalized after police forced entry and the pets were taken to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter.
Shelter officials reached out to LIVS when they saw Mama, who was obviously weak and pregnant, Marino said.
“They came to us and said she was obviously pregnant and they had no idea how long it had been,” he said, adding that staff at LIVS determined she would give birth “any day now.”
Mama was taken to stay at LIVS so she could gain enough strength to give birth naturally. Marino said when she was found, her muscles had started to deteriorate because she was malnourished and pregnant. “She was in such bad shape she didn’t have the physical stamina to deliver,” he said.
At LIVS, he said Mama was given cozy, secluded quarters where she would feel relaxed and comfortable - the type of environment pregnant dogs seek when they are ready to give birth.
Mama was also put on IV support to bring up her weight and increase her nutrient intake. Marino said Mama was able to give birth naturally, with little to no help from the staff that was there to support her.
He said Mama and the three remaining puppies, two female and one male, are now happy and thriving.
“She’s a sweetheart,” Marino said. “She’s a much happier dog now, I can see it in her face. She has a whole new litter and a good meal. She’s thrilled."
Marino said once the puppies are weaned, in about six to eight weeks, they will be available for adoption through the Hempstead Animal Shelter.
Mama will also be up for adoption, though LIVS is coordinating her care currently and is looking for a foster home for her.
Mama and the new puppies are a welcome addition to the halls of LIVS, Marino said, where staff rarely get to see puppies since most patients are dogs with illnesses or in trauma situations.
“It’s special,” he said. “This is a nicer kind of emergency for us. We don’t see puppies that often so we’re just providing them with all the love we can.”
Mama, the rescued cocker spaniel, went into labor about 11:45 p.m. Thursday at Long Island Veterinary Specialists in Plainview and delivered four puppies. (Feb. 1, 2011)