A Nidderdale Rescue centre has its hands full after a rescued bull mastiff gave birth to six healthy puppies.
The puppies were born within hours of arriving at Moor-View Rescue Centre near Pateley Bridge after mum Sugar brought to the home following a midnight rescue on Saturday, October 25.
Sugar, a Labrador Bull mastiff cross, along with several other large bullmastiff dogs were living in poor conditions in Lancashire when Joanne Brydon, 48, was called to rescue animals.
“We got in the car and drove, it was the middle of the night and it was dark. We just grabbed the first three dogs we could get our hands on and put them in the car.
“We had no idea she was pregnant but as soon as she got to our home she must have felt safe and went into labour.”
Sugar gave birth to nine puppies on Monday October 27, though three of them have unfortunately died.
She added: “She must have been trying not to have them in those conditions, she probably would have died if we hadn’t got there.
“There were in dire conditions. I had no choice.
“She would have died in labour we didn’t pick her up. It was a huge moment of relief when I saw them all.”
Mum Sugar gave birth to nine puppies last Sunday (October 26) and three boys and three girls have survived.
“The boys are getting bigger, they are greedy,” said Joanne.
Alongside Sugar, Joanne’s husband Darren, 47, rescued six-month-old puppies Hooch and Turner, one-year-old Holly, an older male dog called Tank who is thought to be the father of Sugar’s puppies, and another mastiff called Hank and eight-month-old Buddy, who sadly died despite the best efforts of vets.
“It is heartbreaking, it has been traumatic,” Joanne said.
Now Joanne is facing thousands of pounds of vets bills, on top of the cost of caring for the 31 dogs in Moor- View’s care.
She said: “We were already bursting at the kennels, but I just couldn’t leave them. Many other small rescues don’t take big dogs like these, but we do.”
Joanne left her job in banking to set up Moor-View Kennels and Rescue Centre six years ago along with husband Darren, a stonemason.
They couple have also rescued a donkey, two goats and four sheep who live at MoorView.
“It is a bit of a mad house, my husband says he needs rescuing from it all now,” said Joanne.
Since the bullmastiff’s rescue Joanne has taken in another pet in need. Tess, a collie dog, was found tied up in a bathroom in a flat in Harrogate and passed to Moor-View by Harrogate Borough Council’s dog warden service.
Sugar has grown particularly attached to Joanne after the rescue, but has been offered a forever home with one of the regular users of the boarding kennels, once she is ready to leave her puppies.
“It is great, she is going to a nice home and we will still get to see her,” Joanne said.
She added: “All of the dogs we have at the rescue at the moment would make great pets I am sure. Mastiffs make very good pets, they are very good natured dogs.”
Moor-View Rescue Centre have launched an appeal for funds after this latest crisis and on November 21 will hold a fundraising quiz at Harrogate hockey club.
Visit http://www.moor-view.co.uk/rescue for more information on the dogs currently at the home and how to adopt a pet.