A proud Rottweiler has given birth to one of Britain’s biggest ever litters – after having 15 puppies.
Owner Eleanor Usher, 47, had only expected two-year-old pet Jessie to have five pups, but was left stunned when her litter was three times as big.
Jessie’s brood is now Britain’s second largest litter of puppies.
The tiny pups have been sheltered in a makeshift bed built by Eleanor’s husband Ian, 56, and the couple take turns to feed the pups throughout the day and night.
The couple have now sold all the puppies, which were born on October 15 at their home in Telford, Shrops.
Mum-of-four Eleanor said: “They are absolutely adorable, it makes me smile every time that I see them.
“They’ve all grown a bit, and are starting to get their own distinctive personalities.
“The problem with Rottweiler pups is that they fight with one another – so there is lots of growling and noise down there during the day.
“They are starting to get their vocal cords, so the house has been a very noisy place over the last few weeks.
“Ian and I have a rota drawn up to feed the pups throughout the day and night. It’s exhausting but worth it to see them.
“It’s going to be very hard to see them go, but each of them will be going to a really good home.
“I thought it would be a good idea to stagger their departures, so that it’s not too hard for Jessie to take.
“She’s taken to motherhood like a duck to water, and I think she’ll be very sad to see them all go.”
This is the first time that Eleanor, a nurse, has ever bred puppies, and she was only expecting a litter of five.
She said: “We were given a due date of October 17, but on October 15 at around 1.50am I heard this scratching noise from the bottom of the stairs.
“Jessie had already given birth to one puppy under the stairs and another in her bed, without us even knowing.
“Ian and I both rushed down to come to see her, and from then on we just watched what was happening. It was amazing.
“We hadn’t had an ultrasound, because it’s so expensive and I’d been told to expect something between three and five.
“After the sixth puppy, I was saying: ‘That’s a good girl, you can stop now, you don’t
have to do anymore’.
“But they just kept coming and coming.
“We didn’t even need to do anything to assist her, they were all just coming out without any need for help. She made it so easy for us.
“We just thought: ‘Oh my god, when is she going to stop?’
“After the 11th, we started to look into records, and discovered that the highest in the UK was 18, and the second highest was 13.
“The way that Jessie was going, and the speed at which they were coming out of her, we were fearing that it would get as high as 20. Thankfully it was all over by about 8.00am.
“The 15th was smaller than the rest of them, and had a white mouth instead of a pink one, which was bit out of the ordinary.
“We were a bit worried about her and kept a close eye on her, but she is fine now.
“I bought a load of formula so that I could feed the puppies, but I’ve wasn’t able too for the first few weeks because Jessie was so protective of them. She’s got that natural motherly instinct.”