Happy ending for hand-rear pups

A litter of puppies that needed intensive round-the-clock care from Blue Cross have all found loving homes.

Badger, Bowser, Stanley, Billy, Gus, Whittaker, Blaze and Winter, turned eight weeks old on Christmas Day and, thanks to the teams looking after them, grew into strong young pups.

A puppy sleeps on top of another sleeping puppy

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.

a black and white puppy feeds from a bottle held by a Blue Cross member of staff

So while two puppies were cared for by another charity, Blue Cross took in eight and split them between three of our rehoming centres where they could receive the expert care they needed.

a tan and white puppy and a black and white puppy eagerly await the bowls of food being handed to them
As Badger and Bowser grew, they moved on to solid foods.

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 cared for two of the litter, Badger and Bowser (pictured), 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.”

a tan and white puppy and a black and white puppy learn to sit by focussing on a Blue Cross member of staff who holds a treat in each hand as the puppies lower their bums to the floor
Badger and Bowser learn to sit

Without a mum to guide them, our teams made sure each of the puppies got the socialisation that is so vital to helping young dogs on their way to becoming happy, healthy and well behaved pets.

Once the youngsters got a few weeks older, they kept the teams on their toes with all their exploring and play! And when they were old enough to fly the nest, we began the search for loving families looking for a youngster to join them.

a black and white puppy crouches down to hide in a play box whilst his brother, a tan and white puppy, peeps over the top of the box, also in play
Play is so important to help puppies learn - and to have fun!

We wish them all the best of luck in their new homes, and their families know they can always call on us for help and advice on every step of their adventures.

— Page last updated 07/03/2019