A mother dog, abandoned at a shelter during labor complications, tragically loses all 21 of her puppies, highlighting the heartbreaking challenges faced by animals in distress.

After giving birth to 21 puppies, a senior black lab is slowly healing.

While her near-record-breaking litter may sound like cause for celebration, her journey is filled with pain, but also sympathy from a community of animal lovers who want nothing but the best for her.

A black lab, estimated to be between seven and eight years old, was brought to the Boone Area Humane Society in Boone, Iowa on October 24. She appeared to be in septic shock and in labor.

She was airlifted to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine for further treatment.

“She came in the back of a pickup truck, unresponsive,” Vanessa Heenan, director of the Boone Area Humane Society, told the Ames Tribune. “Her abdominal area was swollen, her nipples were enlarged; you could tell she’d nursed pups recently, at least in the past.”

The dog gave birth to two puppies after an estimated 24 hours of labor. One was stillborn, and the other died shortly after birth.

The vets realized she needed an emergency C-section right away.

As the vets continued to provide care and try to save puppy after puppy, the price continued to rise.

It was a price the shelter could not afford, so they sought assistance from their community.

They’ve raised about $20,000 so far.

Unfortunately, all of the puppies died on October 26. Despite receiving a transfusion from their mother, half of the puppies were stillborn, and the surviving puppies were not far enough along to live.

Heenan does not believe she was a victim of a puppy factory or used hormones, but she could have been inseminated by numerous male dogs.

The shelter is aware of the dog’s owner and has stated that they are in contact with an attorney to see what can be done, but “with Iowa’s weak animal protection laws, it’s always an uphill battle.”

Vets are now concentrating on assisting the elderly dog in recovering. She showed signs of progress just days after the extraordinarily painful birth.

She’s still “weak,” but she’s “doing so much better.” According to a Facebook post, ISU vets will begin weaning her off pain medication and water.

She will be released from the hospital after she has recovered and will be placed in a foster family to complete her recuperation.

If you would like to contribute to this mama dog’s recuperation, you can do so through the Boone Area Humane Society’s Facebook page or by contacting ISU College of Vet Med at 515-294-4900.

It breaks my heart to witness an animal in such distress. How could anyone have allowed this innocent animal suffer like way?

Please share this prayer for her continuous healing and for the individual or people responsible to be held accountable.

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