The Lucas County Pit Crew’s foster homes are bursting with puppies.
Of the 69 canines in the foster-based “pit bull” rescue, 57 are younger than 6 months. And one of the adult dogs is due to give birth to a litter of unknown size within the next week or so.
“It’s probably the highest number of puppies we’ve ever had in the rescue,” said Jean Keating, executive director. “This is really unusual.”
While other area rescues say they haven’t seen large numbers of puppies, the Pit Crew has taken in several big litters and quite a few singletons and doubles.
“We always have a litter here or there going on with someone in the community who has asked us to help,” Ms. Keating said. “But we’ve taken in a bunch recently.”
The rescue is currently caring for litters of seven, 10, and 12 pups. Another four are the survivors of a larger litter affected by canine parvovirus, and several additional pups scattered among foster homes are the last of their litters up for adoption.
“It’s our name recognition, I think,” said regular puppy foster Nancy Fisher of Whiteford Township. “We have a good following and we get a lot of referrals when people are in need and trying to do the right thing.”
Ms. Keating said many of the litters were the result of accidental breeding and surrendered by owners directly to the Pit Crew. The rescue in turn helps spay and neuter adult canines in the home.
“They don’t want to do the Craigslist thing,” she said. “They are concerned about finding them homes. I would rather people do this because then we know that every one of these puppies will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped in their new homes.”
The influx, combined with a depleted mama dog who could no longer care for her own babies, means groups of pups have been shifting among foster homes to make sure they are all cared for.
“They are a lot of work to take care of, particularly if you don’t have the mom,” Ms. Keating said. “A lot of foster families can’t take them, and they are a financial drain on the rescue.”
Mrs. Fisher is fostering five puppies younger than 6 months, and a young adult dog left over from a previous litter.
“They’re fun and cute and adorable, but there are days when you have to get home because it’s four hours since they’ve eaten and they’re covered in poop from stepping on their [potty] pads,” she said. “It can definitely be stressful, but seeing them find good homes is worth it.”
The Pit Crew is in need of donations of fleece blankets, potty pads, wet and dry Iams puppy food, chew toys, and funds to help pay for veterinary care. Donations may be dropped off or mailed to 855 N. McCord Rd., Toledo, OH, 43615. Monetary donations may be sent online at lucascountypitcrew.com. Prospective adopters should email firstname.lastname@example.org.