'Christmas miracle' after dog abandoned in dumpster gives birth to seven puppies

Updated: Dec. 20, 2016 at 2:47 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Animal Care and Control says they have never seen a case like this before - a pregnant dog being discarded like trash. They say it's a Christmas miracle she's given birth to seven healthy puppies.

All is calm for Momma Mary and her brood. So peaceful, you couldn't tell how the puppies almost came into the world.

"We unfortunately see horrible things all the time, but this one really takes the cake," said Christie Chipps Peters, the director of Richmond Animal Care & Control. "It's a level of cruelty that should be abolished."

Peters says on Sunday, Richmond Police got a call for a dog in a dumpster by the Afton Apartments.

"What we found when we got there was quite unusual," she said.

Peters says all of the dumpster's doors were shut, and officers had to climb in and rescue the pit bull. That's when they realized the dog was very pregnant.

"When we picked her up, she was enormous and already dripping milk," Peters said.

Less than 48 hours later, Momma Mary gave birth to seven puppies. Momma Mary is taking great care of the babies, but Peters still wants to know: who would ditch the dog and why?

"The most horrible part is if the trash man came and emptied the dumpster. In addition to...it's so super cold at night," said Peters. "We don't know what could have happened to her. We're glad our officers were able to save her."

Momma Mary is about six or seven years old and has given birth at least once before, according to Peters.

Animal Control has launched an investigation. Peters is asking any who recognizes the dog to call the RACC at (804) 646-5573.

Meantime, Momma and her puppies are sleeping in heavenly peace.

"It's a blessing all around, because oftentimes we don't have a super win. We've had a super win with her," said Peters.

Animal Care and Control says Momma Mary and the puppies will be available for adoption. Momma and the puppies will go to a foster home together for six weeks. Then the dogs will go to separate foster homes before being adopted.

Peters says RACC is now accepting adoption applications.

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