Rescued Great Dane new mom to 13 puppies in Bakersfield

Great Dane Daphne rests with her 13 puppies at Pet Matchmaker Rescue in Bakersfield Jan. 17, 2019. (Photos from Morgan Sokolow)

There’s a very tired Great Dane at Pet Matchmaker Rescue in Bakersfield.

Daphne, a black-and-white spotted Great Dane, gave birth to 13 puppies in less than 24 hours. She started delivering babies on Wednesday and finished up her labor on Thursday morning.

“She was actually a stray at Kern County Animal Control,” Morgan Sokolow, director of Pet Matchmaker Rescue, said. “She was actually only with us a day and a half before giving birth. We got her just in time.”

She said the rescue often works with Animal Control when they have pregnant dogs or moms with young litters.

Two of Daphne’s puppies were smaller than their siblings and will need to be bottle-fed. The other 11 puppies will also get supplemental bottle feedings as Daphne doesn’t have enough teats to feed them all at once, Sokolow said.

Daphne’s labor was documented on the Pet Matchmaker Facebook page and people have been clamoring to adopt the puppies, but that will have to wait.

Adoption applications won’t be accepted until sometime in March, after the pups are six to seven weeks old.

Sokolow said that’s when any possible birth defects can be detected. Because Daphne was a rescue dog, Sokolow doesn’t know her medical history or that of the father.

Great Danes, along with German Shepherds, are her favorite breeds and she has had quite a few go through the rescue. But the rescue deals with all breeds of dogs and Sokolow estimates at least 4,000 or 5,000 have been adopted by people across the country since she opened her facility in Bakersfield in 2007.

She wants to be sure these puppies go to the right families.

“I pride myself on finding the right fit for those specific breeds,” she said.

Too often, people adopt dogs based on appearance, but Sokolow takes the dogs’ temperaments and personalities into consideration when putting one of her dogs with a family.

She said that Great Danes aren’t the easiest dogs to manage and they can be high maintenance. There is the potential for different health issues, if the dogs aren’t properly cared for.

She said Great Danes, despite their size, are not outdoor dogs, adding that they are very sensitive and needy.

“They are gentle giants, great family dogs,” Sokolow said. “They don’t know their own size. They think they’re lap dogs.”

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