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Rescued dog and pups putting on weight and ‘are brighter and more vocal each day’

Devoted mum: Xena and her pups are being nursed back to health

An abandoned dog and her five pups that were rescued last month are on the road to recovery.

Xena, a five-year-old bull breed, was found sheltering under a van with her litter. She was malnourished, suffering from a skin condition, and said to be in extreme discomfort.

She was handed over to the Bermuda Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and her health is now improving.

Kate Terceira, the charity’s executive director, said that there were some initial concerns over whether Xena and two of her pups would survive.

Ms Terceira said: “The team had concerns regarding two of the puppies. Both were struggling to feed and Xena, was showing signs of mastitis.

“Antibiotics and cabbage leaves were prescribed which have helped Xena feel much better and allowed the two smaller puppies to feed.”

Ms Terceira said the dogs have been examined by vets from the Endsmeet practice.

She said: “They are cautiously optimistic with all of their progress. Mummy and pups have all put on weight and are brighter and more vocal each day.

“At this time it is vital visitors to Xena are kept to a minimum. Now we have a routine and established it is important Xena and her pups have as little interruption as possible.

“Their immune system is also extremely weak, so it is important to keep risk of infection as low as possible.”

The SPCA posted news and photographs of Xena’s plight on its Facebook page, and was “overwhelmed” by the response.

The posts have so far received almost 1,000 ‘likes’ and hundreds of comments, with people offering to make donations.

Ms Terceira said: “We feel strongly the community needs to be aware of what the SPCA team are encountering all too often and are so thankful to the community for their ongoing support.

“We are overwhelmed with the kindness the community has shown us. One of the things that inspires our team, even in the darkest moments is to read all the positive comments people make on social media.

“Of course when you choose to be so transparent on social media there will always be one or two negative comments, which at times can be hurtful, however the good far outweighs the bad.”

The charity is still seeking financial donations to cover “extensive veterinary and rehabilitation care” that Xena and her pups need to get back to health.

It has also compiled a wishlist of useful items that can be donated, including: toys that can be filled, such as Westpaw or Kongs; long lines or lunge lines; puppy-sized collars and adult-sized adjustable collars, with a clip fasten, not buckle; pet store vouchers; 4ft fencing/pen; tinned pumpkin; buffalo horns.

The SPCA will also be looking to have the dogs adopted once Xena and her litter have recovered.

Ms Terceira said: “The pool of people able to adopt a restricted breed dog is becoming ever smaller due to bans in the UK and many states in the US, so anyone on a work permit cannot really adopt.

“We will need all the help we can get to find suitable families for the pups, and Xena of course.”

For more information about the Bermuda Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, click here.