Abandoned 11-day-old puppies hand-reared at RSPCA centre
SAY hello to Pudding, Paige and Pickle who, with Denzil, Ruby and Phoebe, arrived at RSPCA Southridge when only 11 days old.
The six pups were dumped in a box at a RSPCA shop without their mother to feed them.
They subsequently arrived at the animal centre, in Packhorse Lane, Ridge, near Potters Bar, back in August.
And thanks to Southridge staff, deputy manager Mona Jorgensen and volunteer Joanne Lewis, who syringe fed them every two hours day and night, the six Jack Russell rascals are here to tell the tale today – and have just been successfully rehomed.
“At first they needed hand feeding every two hours, 24 hours per day,” said Mona.
“At the time we were short of staff and dealing with a very serious virus outbreak in our cattery, meaning we were in full isolation and working flat out, but everyone immediately stepped in to help keep these little ones alive.
“After a few days we had the wonderful news that mum had been found, but euphoria soon turned to despair as she was unable to feed them because of a severe infection in her mammaries caused by the separation, so it was back to hand-rearing.
“We created a rota system and all staff took turns in taking them home at night, two pups each.
“Bleary-eyed and tired, they were brought back to the centre every day and slowly but surely they started to feed better and develop into the most gorgeous little creatures.”
In week three Joanne offered to help out and soon she was packed to go home with two pups in tow.
Co-fosterer Joanne said: “I was helping in reception when I heard the staff talking about the rota for the puppies to feed them through the night.
“I haven’t fostered puppies for four years but I said I would be happy to help and took Pickle and Paige home – they weighed 0.48kg!
“I left Southridge prepared for my new babies – sterilising solution, cotton wool and bucket of Whelpi milk in hand!
“My own three dogs were baffled by these creatures that didn’t actually do anything, but they readily accepted them.”
After four nights looking after the pair, Joanne returned them for the next member of staff on the rota to take over.
However, when it was her turn again, they were joined by their brother Pudding, while Mona had the other three.
Mona said: “Based on my own involvement with these puppies it has been a hard but absolutely lovely experience.
“It’s not one we want to have many of, as it is exhausting and difficult to maintain normal brain function when you are sleep deprived, but it has been so rewarding to see the puppies develop from tiny, helpless and totally dependent creatures having to be fed from a tiny syringe, to lively, naughty and independent little dogs scoffing their food from a bowl.”
Fortunately, the puppies have now found new homes. But letting go was hard.
Mona added: “They have given me so much pleasure and put a smile on my face every evening after a difficult day at work.
“But this is what we do, and I am so proud of my colleagues for the dedication they have shown to help these little dogs on their way.”
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