— By BRIAN SMITH
In times of emergency, it’s all hands on deck.
Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter staff members were thrown into a situation they were unaccustomed to Tuesday morning as a pregnant pit bull named Precious underwent a C-section by shelter vet Dr. Kent Glenn. Precious was brought into the shelter Saturday in what Director of Animal Services Dustin Deel described as “very pregnant” and began giving birth Sunday.
“I was called and told she had gone into labor and had birthed two of the dogs,” Deel said. “The size she was there should have been more than two dogs.”
After assessing the situation, Glenn decided a Cesarean was necessary to ease the situation Precious was in. During the more than hour-long procedure, two of the dogs were found stuck in the birth canal, shutting off the blood supply not only to Precious but all the entire litter. It was initially believed all the puppies were dead, but upon massaging one of the puppies, the puppy began to kick, lending hope to the situation.
With animal control officers out in the field, Glenn called on Deel and staff members Kenzie Montgomery and Tracey Curry to help get the puppies out while Glenn worked on stabilizing Precious.
“We were talking on how the C-section was going to have to be performed when I came in,” Deel said. “The next thing I know I was being hollered at to take my jacket off and to begin helping out.”
Deel said it was the first time he had been in on a procedure like that. Glenn told the new vet techs what needed to be done to ensure the safety of the live puppies. Staff pulled each puppy out of the placenta and tried to clear their throats, rubbing them until they came back to life and started crying.
Precious and five of the puppies survived the procedure, which caused toxicity to some of the dogs. Had it not been for the emergency surgery, she and all the puppies would have died, Deel said. Mother and her five new pups are doing fine, Deel said, but are not out of the woods.
“An animal shelter is a really rough place to raise puppies,” Deel said in an e-mail. “The shelter hopes to place them soon with someone who will be willing to give them the care and attention they need.”
Deel said ideally the mother and puppies would remain together during the next several weeks. Deel said the shelter is offering a $40 deal for not only Precious, but all the puppies as well.
The shelter will commit to spaying or neutering, microchipping, and one round of vaccinations for all the puppies when they come of age.
Anyone wishing to commit is asked to call the shelter at 817-598-4111. Updates on Precious and the puppies can be found on the shelter’s Facebook page.