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Old 05-14-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
brrosie
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Moving Puppies

Hi, I'm new to the forum, but i have a question i hope someone can answer. There is a stray dog in our neighborhood who gave birth to puppies a few days ago. She is very skittish and has evaded all prior attemps to befriend or catch her. My boyfriend and I had built a large pen for her in our backyard with a very large doghouse for her to have her puppies in, but she had the puppies before we could lure her into it. We know where the puppies are and would like to move them to the pen at some point. We don't want anyone to mess with the puppies as they get big enough to start wandering around, nor do we want another animal to injure or kill them.
She is a first time mother and will run off if anyone gets near to where the puppies are. We don't want to move the puppies too soon and have her abandon them, but we also don't want to leave them out on their own too long. There are other loose dogs and some pretty vicious cats in our neighborhood--not to mention idiots with BB guns. Does anyone have a suggestion of when a good time to move the puppies would be? Thanks!

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Old 05-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #2
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You would have to be very careful that that mother does not attack you when you get too close to the pups. Even if she runs off as you approach, she could turn hostile when you touch her pups. If you can, you might want to try to catch her, put her in a large dog crate and take the pups at the same time. Moving them all at the same time may be better then trying to move the pups then the mom, although usually the mom will look for the pups. Perhaps you can call in to animal control, explain the situation and what you want to do and they could help? I know the animal control in my area does that, better to find foster homes then take the animals to the shelters

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Old 05-14-2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response!
The only problem is that animal control has tried for a while to catch her. They've tried nets, have-a-heart traps, etc. She evades everything. I don't think there is any way i could get her in a cage. I've even got her inside our fence before, but she just climbs over it--she even got over it a few days before she gave birth, and she was really fat.
I think we can move them without her getting aggressive. It's really just a matter of when we should move the puppies. Should we do it right away, or wait a week, 2 weeks, longer?

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Old 05-14-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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If you are concerned for the safety of the mom & pups, I would say right away! Do keep in mind that the mother may abandon them, however, and you will have to hand-raise. Good luck, and please keep us posted!

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Old 05-14-2009, 01:03 PM   #5
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If she's avoiding traps then she may feel the pen you built is just that- another trap and may or may not overcome her fear in order to be with her pups. If she's truly a first-time mom... she can be rather unpredictable.

I'd say move those pups now, the sooner the better but like DoggyMom has said, be prepared to handraise them and have them seen by a vet. If Momma Dog does enter the pen, will she be able to escape it? Will she injure herself trying to do so? Will she then just move the pups one by one to a different location?

The pups might fare better being handraised then learning the fear of their mother, just a thought.

Where is she getting food from? Does she show even the slightest hesitation around food? -and I'm talking something tasty she'd smell like a chunk of roast or maybe try lunchmeat such as bologna because it smells so strongly.

Oh and welcome to DD!

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Old 05-14-2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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We tried to make the pen pretty big. I think its at least 20'x20', and we put up a 10' fence around it that i don't think she can get out of. We also surrounded the bottom of the fence on the inside & outside with cinder blocks to try and prevent her from digging out.
As for the puppies there's between 6-10 of them from what we can see where they are...with my job i can't hand raise them, since i wouldn't be able to bring them with me when i'm gone for 5+ hours. At this age especially i'm pretty sure they need to eat every hour or two. Another reason we wanted them in the pen was so we could socialize them with people as they get older.
The momma dog, "Sally" as everyone knows her, gets food from where ever. Us and at least one other couple in the neighborhood feed her--she eats any kind of food you leave out for her, and the other couple gives her dog food every night. Someone else has suggested to me to slip her a sedative, but im not sure how that will affect the puppies when they drink her milk, since any oral sedative stays in the dog's system for at least several hours. I'd also like to catch her so when she doesn't have the puppies anymore i can get her spayed and avoid this happening every year!
Oh, and thanks for the welcome!

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Old 05-15-2009, 12:06 AM   #7
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From what you said, you've tried traps and the like, perhaps a tranquilizer? Animal control could possibly help with this. I asked an animal control officer friend about your situation earlier today and she says that animal control is able to perform a tranquilizer dart shoot, it is reversible and will not stay in the dog's body long, doesn't harm the nursing pups. It's worth a shot to talk to a vet or animal control where you are, see if this might be a route you can take to move the mom and pups safely.

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Old 05-20-2009, 12:39 PM   #8
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Just thought i would give a little update:
I finally got in contact with animal control. They do not dart dogs (at least here in Austin), and the woman told me to just move the puppies, wait for the mother to go in the pen, then close the gate with a rope from far away. This is what i was going to do anyway, so i'll let you guys know how it works after this weekend.
The Animal Control officer also wanted me to call her when i catch the mother so they can come pick her and the puppies up--which is definately not going to happen. The kill rate of dogs in shelters around here is enormous, as i'm sure it is in many places.

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Old 05-20-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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If you can manage to get the mama dog's trust, you might want to see if you can spay her, at least. I wish you the best of luck with moving them, hope it goes smoothly.

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Old 05-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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The plan was to get her spayed after the puppies were old enough to find new homes.
The goodish news is that we got the puppies yesterday and had them in the pen. However, when we took the puppies the momma dog disappeared and we couldn't find her. We decided we would leave the puppies in the pen with all the gates open and let the mother come in on her own during the night and get used to it before we closed her in.
The bad news is that one of our psycho idiot neighbors freaked out and came into our yard and took the puppies somewhere back to their mother.
So much for the effort.
Thanks for everyone's help and input anyway!

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