A huge litter of St Bernard puppies has been born at a home in Hankham.
The parents of the adorable pure-bred puppies are Remy and Bentley, who are both two years old but the size of miniature Shetland ponies. Remy weighs around 64kg and Bentley 69kg. They had 13 pups on June 3 but sadly two died. They are now parents to five girls and six boys.
The dogs belong to Angela and Alan Bateman who are not strangers to such a large litter of St Bernard puppies.
The couple went through the same experience 13 years ago when their previous St Bernard, Poppy, also gave birth to 13 puppies.
The usual amount is around eight pups, so the Bateman family have struck lucky twice.
Angela said, “When we took her to the vet when she was pregnant, they said they thought there was about six to eight, which is an average amount.
“She went into labour around midnight and when 13 popped out we just couldn’t believe it.
“It was just wow!”
Angela added, “On the night she was giving birth, I was feeling her tummy and after nine and 10, I felt and said to Alan, ‘there’s still more in there’.
“We just shook our heads in amazement. She finished giving birth at about 10.30 the next morning.”
Angela and Alan say it has been a ‘wonderful experience’.
Angela said, “They are a massive part of the family and a massive part of our lives.”
The pups have loved playing with Angela and Alan’s grown-up children and their five grandchildren, who are aged between eight months and five years.
They are also a talking point when they take them out to the vets.
Angela said, “We take them to the vets at the back at Pets at Home and it take us at least an hour to get from the car to the vets.
“People are stopping us to say hello and stroking them.
“Everybody loves them. They are very popular.
“We have been putting them in a shopping trolley to get them down there and the staff all know us now.”
Many of the puppies have already found good homes but Alan and Angela still have a few left.
Anyone interested should call 01323 651551.