British Dog Could Have Set New World Record After Naturally Birthing 21 Puppies
A British dog could have set a new world record after giving birth naturally to a staggering litter of 21 puppies.
Joanne Hine watched in amazement as her Great Dane and American bulldog cross Mary Jane (also known as MJ) popped out the astonishing brood.
She had initially been told the pet would give birth to between six and eight little canines. Famous last words, eh?
But an examination closer to MJ's due date showed the actual total was going to be much higher - potentially enabling her to break records.
The Guinness World Record for the largest litter stands at 24, born to a Neapolitan mastiff called Tia in Cambridgeshire in 2004 - of the 24, 20 survived.
But those puppies were born via Caesarian section while MJ's litter were all natural - which Joanne thinks could mean a new record has been broken.
Sadly, six of MJ's puppies were stillborn and one died soon after the birth on 20 November.
Joanne, from the Isle of Man, said: "When the vets told me it would probably be more after they'd said she would have just six to eight I said, 'No way!'
"I'm so proud of her. MJ did it all on her own with Annie and Ruth of Jane Callow Veterinary Practice by her side the whole time.
"MJ only has nine nipples and 14 pups so bottle-feeding them every two hours is a team effort from us all."
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The 33-year-old customer services assistant said she is 'so proud' of MJ, adding: "The first puppy came at about 1.30pm on 20 November, and she kept on going until the last one was born at about 9am the next morning.
"She did so well, I was amazed with her.
"I didn't go to bed at all that night. I got MJ settled at the vets but then I went home, and the vet was sending me updates and pictures on WhatsApp as the puppies were born."
Joanne said she has not yet been able to find out whether MJ has set a world record, but added that she would 'love to' find out.
She said: "I'd be so proud of her if it was a record, I really would. The puppies are two weeks old now and she's an amazing mum."
Joanne added that while she would love to keep some of the puppies, she is planning to sell all of them to new homes.
The remaining 14 pups have been named after chocolate bars according to their personalities.
Joanne even sleeps in the kitchen next to a homemade crib, which is big enough for all 14 and their mother, to keep an eye on them.
The majority of the dogs are yet to be re-homed, although two are soon being taken to a new family in Rotherham, Yorks.
The all seem to have inherited their mother's black and white colouring and the face of their father - a bull mastiff crossed with a rottweiler.
The animals need to be fed every two hours so Joanne is being supported by her dad Steve, brother Matt and friend Liam - who will soon become 'dads' to the puppies.
She added that MJ will now be neutered - as she's read that a second litter can be bigger than the first.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS