A heavily pregnant maremma dog has safely given birth to five puppies at the Bundaberg Pound and all will have a second chance at life thanks to a partnership between Bundaberg Regional Council and Red Collar Rescue.
Council staff recently came across the pregnant dog, which was emaciated and in poor health, wandering the streets.
She was taken to the pound for further clarification on whether microchipping registration details were up to date and during this time, gave birth to her pups.
With no owners coming forward, the puppies and mum are now in the care of Red Collar Rescue where they will be looked after until adoption.
Regulatory Services portfolio spokesperson Cr May Mitchell said it was through a great partnership between Council and the local animal adoption centre that abandoned pets could find happiness again.
“Council has been working closely with Red Collar Rescue for many years and it is through their passion for dogs that this mother and her puppies are able to get a fresh, new start at life,” she said.
“With microchipping and registration details scarce, it becomes extremely difficult for Council to rehome lost pets.
“This is why we implore animal owners to make sure they register, desex and microchip their pets – it could mean the difference in being reunited with your furry friend.”
Owner of Red Collar Rescue Sharyn Banks said the organisation had been working with the Council since 2010, taking in dogs that had been left abandoned at the pound.
“This has saved the council ratepayers approximately $300,000 in euthanasia fees and saved around 4,000 abandoned pound dogs,” she said.
The maremma and her puppies are now in Sharyn's care where she said they were thriving.
“They are now 33 days old and wonderful, fat little angels,” she said.
“In our care they and their mum have received regular worming and premium food to give them the very best start in life.
“Mum was extremely thin on arrival, with a considerable worm burden, so it was important that the babies were supplemented to avoid any initial deficits.”
The maremma breed is generally used as guard dogs on farms and large properties, although Sharyn said these specific dogs would be best suited to regular home life.
Sharyn said when the puppies reach around 10 weeks old, they would be able to leave their group and start going into foster care, with potential forever homes on the horizon.
“They won't be formally adopted until they are old enough to be desexed, which is around six months of age,” she said.
“Mum will also be adopted as a pet as she has zero behavioural interest in being a guard dog and will do best as a family companion.
“Prior to adoption she will also be desexed, chipped, and fully vaccinated and on heartworm prevention.”
Sharyn said it was not the first time she had come across a stray pregnant dog situation.
“This is absolutely normal and just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.
“Sadly, people don't plan ahead when they get a pet and seem happy to abandon them when the going gets tough.”
Sharyn said she could not impress enough the importance of responsible pet ownership.
“Desexing your pet will go a long way to stopping it from roaming,” she said.
“Currently parvo and heartworm are epidemics in Bundaberg – prevention is cheap, treatment is expensive.”
“Our pets rely on their owners to keep them safe and healthy.”
About dog registration, microchipping
All dogs must be registered within the Bundaberg Region as per Queensland Government legislation.
To register your dog, amend an existing registration, change ownership of your dog or to renew a lapsed dog registration complete the online form here.
Unless exempt under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 the Act requires all owners microchip their cat or dog before it is 12 weeks old.
Contact your local vet to find out more.