Dog shot twice after giving birth to litter of puppies

A cruel beginning for a family of Rottweiler-Chow mix dogs has turned into a story of hope. Their mother, Merida, was shot twice in the abdomen after giving birth, and left to die.

Thanks to a Lewiston, Idaho rescue group, Zeus’s Friends, she and six of her puppies survived.

It all started when Raechel Irby and another member of Zeus’s Friends saw a little black puppy wandering alone on the side of an Idaho highway. They followed the pup, and what they found where he led them was heartbreaking and disturbing.

“It was mattresses. It was feces. It was blood. It was just disgusting,” Irby said. “Then you walk about into this corner and all you see is puppies.”

What they found were eight 10-week-old puppies, huddled together in a shed, sick with parvo, and fighting for their lives. They were also fighting to protect their mom, who was suffering from two gunshot wounds.

Rita Leslie, another member of Zeus’s Friends, says Merida was somehow also still fighting right along with her pups, making sure they didn’t starve, even though she was quickly bleeding out.

“She was fending for them,” Leslie said. “She was going out having to steal forage in the condition that she was in.”

They have no idea how long Merida lived with those wounds. When they rescued her and her puppies from the shed on that February day, one of her eight puppies was already gone. Another one died that night from Parvo. But the other six pups, are all survivors, along with their unstoppable mother.

“They’re doing amazing and I’m very happy with their progress,” Irby said. “But they should have never started out like this.”