On September 1, 2017, we were introduced to a very sweet, but very pregnant dog at Animal Control. Her deep brown eyes and loving personality won us over, and we knew we needed to help her. We named her Hollywood, and after an initial vet visit, it was determined she was due in 15-17 days with 8-9 puppies. She went to live with a special foster mom with experience whelping puppies, and the waiting game began.

On Tuesday, September 19, we got the call around 7:00 PM. Hollywood had given birth to her first puppy. She quickly birthed puppies #2 and #3, as well. But something had happened. Something wasn’t right, and two of the puppies suffered from injuries and didn’t make it. We knew right then and there that Hollywood needed help delivering her puppies.

Our volunteers jumped into action. The delivery of Hollywood’s puppies took a total of 24 hours. She was watched around the clock, and volunteers sat and rubbed mama to make her as comfortable as possible. Volunteers helped Hollywood through the whole process, helping her break the birthing sacs, cut the umbilical cords, and clean the babies. These are tasks that mama dogs normally did on their own, but Hollywood needed help. And thankfully, our volunteers were more than happy to give her a hand. Her delivery lasted through the night and into the next morning, so we needed to call in a second shift of volunteers. A total of eight volunteers helped throughout the delivery process.

Andrea Castleberry, one of the angels who helped Hollywood deliver, recounts: “We at GPG always nonchalantly say, ‘It takes a village.’ Well, I’m here to tell you, it TRULY takes a village. In the stretch of 24 hours’ time, eight VOLUNTEERS, with careers, families, responsibilities, and very full lives, put EVERYTHING on hold to ensure 7 newborn puppies and their mama survived and thrived. It was like witnessing something out of a storybook.”

Unfortunately, Hollywood also wasn’t lactating to feed her puppies. So volunteers bottle fed the babies and ensured their warmth through a heating pad through delivery, and then the seven puppies were distributed to three different foster homes to continue their care.

Hollywood’s seven puppies are now thriving in foster homes where GPG’s dedicated bottle feeding team provides round the clock care to ensure their health and growth. Bottlefeeding puppies requires 24/7 care, as puppies need to be fed every two hours and kept warm at 85 -90°F. The puppies also need burped after each feeding and help eliminating, which requires stimulating their lower belly/genital area regularly. The puppies will be bottle fed through about five weeks of age, when they should start transitioning to some solid foods.

We cannot thank Hollywood’s delivery team enough for their 24 hours without sleep, and the volunteers that continue to care for her babies! Now that she has delivered her pups, Hollywood has also moved into her own foster home, where she is, of course, resting and learning what it’s like to be loved and adored. If you would like to help us cover the costs of care for the itty bitty puppies, please visit www.gatewaypets.com/donate. YOU can also be a part of this amazing story and touch the lives of these newborn puppies!