Here’s something you don’t see every day at the airport — the miracle of life! Ellie, a 2-year-old service dog, gave birth to a litter of puppies before she was about to board a flight to Philadelphia at the Tampa International Airport after she suddenly went into labor.
It was all hands on deck, as a nurse in the crowd of travelers assisted before the paramedics from the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) team responded to the call for help. The nurse helped deliver five of the eight puppies before she had to leave for her flight.
First responder Lt. Natalie Brown called the situation, which took four hours, “magical.” She further explained to Today.com: “My partner and I jumped in the rescue car. By the time we got to the air site, two puppies had already been born. I got my (obstetrics and gynecology) kit. I wanted to move the dog to a quieter area, but the owner was concerned about moving her so I said, ‘No problem.’ It was an incredible moment.”
Ruff day for this mama at Gate F80! With the help of ARFF paramedics, service dog Eleanor Rigby just delivered 8 pups -7 males, 1 female. pic.twitter.com/kiijFz0FBq
— Tampa Intl Airport (@FlyTPA) May 25, 2018
The puppies’ father was also at the scene as he was also set to travel that day. Ellie had one female and seven male puppies.
Of course, amid the sweet story of a dog giving birth to a litter of puppies in the middle of an airport, there have been many questions raised about why a pregnant dog was traveling at all. Many people who have commented on social media have called the owner irresponsible for traveling with a dog in the late stages of pregnancy as well as pointed out the possible stress the dog may have endured by giving birth in a very public space.
In response to the criticisms, the Tampa International Airport tweeted: “We are just glad mom and babies are safe. Shout-out to @TampaFireRescue for your good work!”
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