TAMPA (FOX 13) - A one-year-old pup gave birth to her own puppies - creating a family of 13.
The family is now under the care of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay after being transferred from the country shelter on Wednesday. Angel appears to be a Labrador retriever mix, according to the Humane Society, and as a one-year-old, she quickly turned into an attentive, young mother.
The shelter introduced Angel and her 12 puppies, who are about two weeks old, in a live Facebook video. They said they were not sure of her previous home life, but she is extremely emaciated, with her spine and ribs visible.
"Now, it is normal for lactating mothers to get thin, but this is really thin," one of the shelter workers is heard saying.
Her condition didn't appear to affect Angels' demeanor. In the video, she was seen checking on her little ones. She wagged her tail at the only human, waited to be petted. Angel and her litter are living n a makeshift nursery, which is a crate -- large enough to even fit a shelter worker -- surrounded by fans to keep the family cool. It's located in the back of the shelter, where it is quiet to give her some privacy.
A chorus of barks -- which sounded more like adorable squeals -- were heard from about half of the newborns. The loudest caught Angel's attention, who strolled over to start nursing. The other half were lounging or napping.
"This is a busy momma," the worker said while petting Angel. "She is such a good mama."
The shelter said it could take at least six weeks before Angel and her puppies are available for adoption. The mother will need to recover, and the young ones will need to be taken to a foster home to gain weight before being spayed and neutered.
The Humane Society is seeking a foster parent to take in Angel and her litter. They understand it would be a big job, but for anyone who is interested, they ask that they reach out through their website.
The shelter will also announce when all 13 will be available for adoption.