Blue Cross foster carers will be working round-the-clock this Christmas to ensure that a litter of newborn puppies are happy and healthy.
Their mother arrived at our Grimsby animal hospital in Lincolnshire in November after running into difficulty during labour, the result of an unplanned pregnancy.
Sadly, she was left too poorly and weak by the ordeal to care for her puppies; her calcium levels were so dangerously low that she would have been unable to feed them.
So while two puppies were cared for by another charity, Blue Cross took in eight and split them between three of our centres where they have been receiving expert care ever since.
Badger, Bowser, Stanley, Billy, Gus, Whittaker, Blaze and Winter will be eight weeks old on Christmas Day and, thanks to the teams looking after them, have grown into strong pups.
At first, caring for them required two-hourly feeds all through the day and night, which were then upped to five hours when the puppies reached three weeks old.
Hannah Wiltshire, Rehoming Centre Manager at Newport, who is one of those caring for Badger and Bowser, said: “They came to us at four days old and to get them to this stage we’ve had to do a lot of feeding.
“There’s also been lots of keeping them warm and toileting them in between.
“Now they’re getting bigger, they’re keeping us on our toes as we have to keep an eye on their exploring and play!
“We’ve had a rota to spread out the fostering across the team, as it’s a 24-hour commitment.”
While Blue Cross centres will close their doors to the public on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the teams will be working behind the scenes to care for all the animals in our care.
In Badger and Bowser’s case, this will mean going home with one of their regular foster carers to make sure they have all the yuletide fuss and care they need.
Hannah added: “Their foster carer will make sure they have a really good festive time.”
In the New Year, we’ll then search for loving homes for the puppies.
Without Blue Cross, and the generous donations of food and bedding from kind supporters, the story for these pups and their mother could have sadly been very different.
Read our neutering advice to find out more about preventing unwanted pregnancies.