Rita, 4, is a Rhodesian ridgeback mix available for adoption at Anti-Cruelty Society, located at LaSalle and Grand. She delivered 12 puppies just over six weeks ago. After around the clock care at the animal shelter, she and her puppies are ready for adoption.
"She nursed them appropriately ... she weaned them appropriately ... she corrects them when they get into trouble and she is socializing them and teaching them good dog skills," Dr. Robyn Barbiers, president Anti-Cruelty Society, said.
The staff here did not have to help feed the pups with baby bottles because Rita did it all. And that doesn't seem possible mathematically.
"They had to feed in shifts. She has ten nipples so she had to feed in shifts," Dr. Barbiers said.
"When they were born the veterinarians warned us. They said, you know, mother nature is going to take her course and you are probably going to lose a couple of these puppies. But we didn't," Karen Okura, manager of behavior training, said. "Rita took very good care of them."
Because baseball season was just about to start when the puppies were born, they all got baseball names -- Whiff, Fungo, Catcher, Slugger, Grounder, Babe, Comiskey, Southpaw, RBI, Homer, Shortstop and Cub. Their names match their personalities... ready to play ball.
"Saucy ... adventuresome, curious, underfoot," Avi Brown, animal behaviorist, said of the pups.
In about two and a half weeks, the pups will be ready for adoption at $150 each. Rita will be available after all of her puppies have found homes.
On Saturday, May 5 at 9 a.m. at Montrose Harbor, the Anti-Cruelty Society is holding its annual Bark in the Park to raise money for the animal shelter, Chicago's oldest and largest animal welfare organization.
ABC7's Hosea Sanders and Roz Varon will emcee the event. Get the details at http://barkinthepark.org/