An organic farmer in Napa Valley, California, was shocked when Stella, his Maremma Sheepdog, gave birth last month to 17 healthy puppies. John Costanzo had expected a normal litter of six to eight puppies — maybe 10 — but 17 was “insane,” he told CBS San Francisco.
The pups are all healthy and doing well and will be sold only to other California farms, Costanzo said on The Napa Grass Farmer Facebook page. There are 11 males and six females in the litter.
“We had an excellent vet deliver them because it was way more than we thought,” Costanzo told NBC Bay Area. “They all made it and are healthy. The doctor said it was five more than he has ever seen in his years of practice, as the biggest litter he had ever delivered was 12.”
Maremma Sheepdogs are bred to protect livestock, and that is what they do on The Napa Grass Farmer’s farm, which raises organic chickens, pigs, and goats.
Congrats to Stella and her new babies!