Gallery: Tales of the unexpected as Doberman gives birth to THIRTEEN puppies in Offton

Mark and Olga Holtom's dog Gina has given birth to 13 puppies. The new arrivals are pictured in Offt

Mark and Olga Holtom's dog Gina has given birth to 13 puppies. The new arrivals are pictured in Offton. - Credit: Archant

It might not quite be the 101 Dalmatians, but for one Suffolk couple it’s a tail of the unexpected which has got the whole village queuing up at the door.

Two-year-old Gina, a friendly and loyal Doberman, stunned her owners Mark and Olga Holtom when giving birth to 13 puppies last month.

Just weeks before, vets told the Offton couple Gina was carrying just half-a-dozen – an average litter size.

But there was nothing normal about what transpired.

“She gave birth to one, two, three, and then another, and then another, and then another!” Mr Holtom said. “We couldn’t believe it.”

It was 3pm on Wednesday, May 8, when the first puppy arrived. The last was born at 12.30am.

“They just kept on coming. It was hilarious,” Mr Holtom added.

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“When number nine arrived I thought ‘that’s it’ and went to the pub. When I came back, there were four more. I shouted at her ‘stop producing puppies’.

“It was getting like the 101 Dalmatians. We were a bit panicky but she was very calm and motherly, licking them and feeding them.

“We were just the bystanders who cleaned up afterwards. It was amazing how nature solved what happened without trouble. It was a unique experience.”

The puppies have been named in honour of their father Storm – who took fifth place in the Open Dog category at Crufts last year and who commands a stud fee of £750 – with names such as Typhoon and Blizzard.

But Mark and Olga had not foreseen the tempest their litter would cause – both inside and outside their house.

They go to bed at 1am, only to be stirred from their slumber at 5am, with howls and squeals piercing through the floorboards.

Then comes the feeding.

“It’s like a conveyor belt,” joked Mr Holtom, who runs a computer software company from home.

“There are far more puppies than teats, so we do a rotation of four on, four off every 15 minutes,” Mrs Holtom, Offton and Willisham Parish Council clerk, added.

“We make sure they get a good and fair feed – it’s important they all thrive and survive.”

News of the puppy boom has quickly spread through the village.

“People are lining up at the door, all wanting to see them,” Mr Holtom added.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “Well done to mum and good luck to Olga and Mark who have a big job ahead of them.

“Bringing puppies into this world is not easy. They are a full-time job and the breeders will now have their hands full making sure the pups are well socialised and healthy.”

Simon A Michelet, DVN MRCVS at Ryder-Davies & Partners, in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, said it was “very, very rare” for any dog to give birth to 13 puppies.

“They typically give birth to only half that amount,” he added.

The Guinness World Record for the largest litter of puppies is 24, born to Tia, a Neopolitan mastiff, in Manea, Cambridgeshire, in 2004.

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