SMITH COUNTY, Texas — On Tuesday, a dog being held at the Smith County Animal Shelter birthed 20 puppies, a near world record.
More than 100 dogs and puppies are picked up by officials from Smith County Animal Control on a monthly basis and Luna, a heeler-lab mix, was one of those dogs.
Animal Control picked up the pregnant pup on a county road in Winona on Friday, July 12, and awaited the arrival of her puppies. Luna’s labor started at 7:30 a.m., but by 1:30 p.m., had not progressed well.
Along with the help from local volunteers and Smith County Animal Control board members, the decision was made to send Luna to a local veterinarian for after-hours service.
Thanks to the care given by Dr. Roy Wilmeth, of Kingdom Vet Clinic in Flint, emergency surgery was performed to deliver a total the litter of 20.
Of those, 18 survived and the new family was moved to a temporary foster home. A new foster home is needed, as the puppies require bottle-feeding every two hours due to Luna not being able to nurse.
The cost of the surgery was $1,200 and animal rescue group Because4Paws is coordinating fundraising efforts to help cover the surgical costs and care of the puppies. Details are available here.
The Guinness Book of World Records denotes the largest litter of puppies ever birthed is 24. Luna is indeed a special dog and she, along with her 18 puppies, will eventually need a new, permanent home.
The Smith County Animal Shelter currently has 68 additional dogs available for adoption and adoptions are free.
The shelter is located at 322 East Ferguson Street in Tyler and is open for adoptions Monday through Friday.
To view all of the dogs available at the county’s shelter, click here.