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‘Against all the odds’, rescued Xena and her puppies thriving

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Thriving: Xena’s puppies at the SPCA (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Five puppies are thriving after they were rescued alongside their neglected and malnourished mother, the head of an animal welfare charity said yesterday.

Kate Terceira, the Bermuda Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals executive director, added that five-year-old bull breed Xena – who was found nursing her newborns under a van last month – was a “great mum”.

She said earlier that there were some initial concerns about whether the mother and two of her litter would survive.

Ms Terceira told The Royal Gazette yesterday: “Against all the odds, both Xena and her pups are thriving.

“The pups are four weeks old now, their eyes are open and they are starting to walk and move around. Xena continues to feed her pups and nurture them. She is a great mum.”

Charity: Kelly Glazebrook and Xena at the SPCA (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The dog was also suffering from a skin condition when she was surrendered to the charity by a representative of her owners.

Rescued: Xena with her puppies “thriving” at the SPCA, top, and after they were first found (Photograph by the SPCA)

Ms Terceira said it could still be some time before Xena and the puppies – named by the SPCA team as Togo, Lex, Stubby, Sarbi and Smokey – are rehomed.

She explained: “Mommas and their pups should not be separated or weaned before the pups are at least eight weeks old, ideally 12 weeks; not only from a nutritional point of view but also the incredibly important social skills that mummy teaches her pups.

“This kind of learning is vital for the puppies, teaching them life skills.

“During those weeks the pups will continue their temperament testing by our team of canine experts, obviously their personalities will still be developing, but we at least have a strong sense of the family match that is best suited to them.

“Xena will also have time away from her pups to work on skills and again the team will see how her personality develops as she adapts to being away from momma duties.”

Four weeks old: one of Xena’s puppies that was rescued by the SPCA (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Ms Terceira said that Xena and the puppies will each be homed separately.

She added: “There are many evidence based studies which advise that litter mates should not be homed together for various reasons.”

An appeal was made by the SPCA on its Facebook page for people to help Xena and her litter in the days after they were rescued.

Ms Terceira said: “We are so incredibly grateful to the public for all their support of Xena.

“We have received financial support, bedding, toys, food and even some adoption applications.”

Xena and her five newborn puppies were rescued by the SPCA (Photograph supplied)

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Published August 20, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated August 20, 2022 at 7:55 am)

‘Against all the odds’, rescued Xena and her puppies thriving

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