Forget the stuffed animals. The Lucas County Dog Warden's Office has a litter of living and breathing "pound puppies" that need a home.
The puppies were born two days ago at the pound.
Operations manager Laura Simmons has been working to find a transfer partner to take the little family, but so far it's been "no room at the inn" at the Toledo Area Humane Society, Planned Pethood, Maumee Valley Save-A-Pet, You Lucky Dog, and For Paws Sake.
The Lucas County Pit Crew, a rescue group that often takes "pit bull"-type dogs from the pound and has taken two pregnant "pit bulls" in recent months, has no open foster homes.
However, if a prospective foster person were to read about the situation and would want to take the mother dog and the pups, the Pit Crew's Jean Keating said her group would get that person up and running. Foster volunteers are given food, supplies, and veterinary care.
The group would help get the mother and the pups adopted once the pups are old enough, at 8 weeks.
"We'd love to help the dog warden out even more than we do, but we need more foster homes," said Ms. Keating, executive director of the group, which also does "pit bull" education and advocacy programs in the community.
Anyone interested should call Ms. Keating at 419-260-6365.
Dog Warden Julie Lyle said it's imperative to get the mother dog and the puppies out of the pound as soon as possible. Already, one of the five puppies has died. "Their immune systems are so weak," Ms. Lyle said. "This is not a good place to raise puppies."
Besides the threat of illness, the puppies won't get enough handling and socialization at the pound.
They will benefit immensely from being raised in a home environment and end up making good pets, Ms. Lyle said.
Ms. Simmons said this is the first litter to be born in the shelter since she started working there a year ago.
"We usually can get [the pregnant dogs] out before they give birth," Ms. Simmons said. "She's a really sweet dog and seems to be a really good mom."
Ms. Simmons said the dog, which the pound has named O-Dell, is about 3 or 4 years old. The orange and white dog was a stray and was picked up July 23 on Jermain Drive.
She started giving birth Wednesday evening and there were three puppies by the time workers left for the night. The next morning, there were an additional two. Originally, there were three females and two males, but one of the males died Friday.
Contact Tanya Irwin at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6066.