Battersea Dogs and Cats Home believes six Staffordshire bull terrier puppies were victims of backstreet breeding.
The mother of Bear, Elsie, Heather, Mable, Moo and Ursula was a mature staffie, which appeared to have had a number of litters and was found wandering in London, heavily pregnant.
Due to her age she was unable to give birth naturally and had to undergo an emergency caesarean. Sadly, she died and the puppies were taken to Battersea.
Seven puppies were born, but one died. The remaining puppies were hand-reared and given round-the-clock care, which involved bottle-feeding and toileting every 90 minutes.
Battersea launched a campaign last month to crack down on backstreet breeding and is calling for a ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks old.
It says the breeding of dogs for profit by unlicensed backstreet breeders too often takes place in dirty, squalid conditions and is happening in neighbourhoods across the UK. As a result, puppies are taken away from their mothers too early and may develop serious health or behavioural problems.
Battersea’s head of operations Carly Whyborn said: “Every day Battersea sees the consequences of backstreet breeding, from unwanted puppies to breeding bitches who have served their purpose.
“We must do everything we can to help bring an end to this careless and selfish practice that leaves so many dogs without a home.”
A video of the puppies can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dShhtQh7yqs
For more information about Battersea’s Backstreet Breeding campaign, visit www.endbackstreetbreeding.org.uk