Lucky 13 for Bailey bumper litter

Morag Pearn with her puppies
Morag Pearn with her puppies

Horden newsagents Morag and Geoff Pearn have their hands full with this lot of little scamps.

The couple’s two-and-a-half-year-old Neapolitan mastiff Bailey has given birth to an astonishing 13 puppies, all of which have survived and are thriving.

The litter’s dad is Harley, Morag and Geoff’s Dog de Bordeaux/Jackson’s American Bulldog cross, aged four.

The nine-week-old pups – eight boys and five girls – are proving a real handful for the couple and their sons Dominic, nine, Daniel, seven, and Aidan, five.

Morag, 43, who runs Pearn’s newsagents in the village’s Marlborough Crescent with her husband, said she thinks the secret to helping the bumper-sized litter thrive is that she and her family have hand-reared them.

She added: “The vet was very surprised that we hadn’t lost any of them.

“For five days from when they were born, we had a 24-hour watch on them.

“We broke it down every couple of hours and made sure that their mother was not crushing them.

“They are hard work, but they are beautiful.

“Feeding time can be like a scene from 101 Dalmations!”

Some of the puppies have been named, with Hamish, Remy, Archie, Frank and Pita among the brood.

The couple have decided to keep little Angus, but are looking for homes for the rest.

Veterinary experts say the size of a litter varies depending on the breed.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest litter of puppies is 24, born on 29 November 2004 to Tia, who is also a Neapolitan mastiff like Bailey.