The Coast News Group
Rancho Santa Fe

Mother pup raises hers and five more

Carol the Chihuahua cuddles with her three babies and five adopted poodle-blends whose needed a new mom.

RANCHO SANTA FE — Who says a blended family is something only humans do? At Helen Woodward Animal Center, staff members are continually amazed at the incredible heart, generosity and spirit of the orphan pets they meet each day.
A recent arrival at the center has staffers humming the tune to the old TV sitcom “The Brady Bunch” and making comparisons to the show about blended households. Meet Carol, the Chihuahua, a new mom not only providing loving care for her three tiny critters, but adopting five, cuddly, poodle-blends in need.
Early this month, Carol and her three newborn babies were rescued from a hoarding situation by a rescue partner in California’s Central Valley. Almost simultaneously, this same rescue partner came across a second litter of five newborn poodle-blends whose own mother was unable to care for them. These tiny pups, almost two weeks younger than Carol’s babies, were in need of reliable feeding. Rescue workers knew their best chance at survival was under the care of a loving canine mom. An introduction was made and Carol took to the new babies as though they were her very own.
The blended family of nine was transferred to Helen Woodward Animal Center where their chances of adoption will be better than in the rural town from where they came. The Chihuahua mother amazed center staff with her attentiveness to all eight puppies, who she nursed, groomed and snuggled. Her Chihuahua-Dachshund blend pups Marcia, Mike, and Greg quickly formed a playful bond with their adopted siblings, three girls named Jan, Cindy, and Alice and two boys named Bobby and Peter.
“It was really amazing to see Carol’s motherly instincts go to work for puppies in need that weren’t even hers,” said Morgan Hamm, assistant manager of Client Services and Fosters. “Carol made it possible for these adorable poodle-blends to have the best chance at a healthy life. She’s a hero in our eyes.”
After all her hard work during the last couple of months, Carol is enjoying some well-deserved pampering at a foster home. She will be the first available for adoption in about one week. Now six weeks old, Carol’s biological puppies have recently weaned and gone to a foster home on their own. They’ll receive their spay/neuter surgeries next week and begin their search for a new family soon after. Finally, Jan, Cindy, Alice, Bobby, and Peter are continuing to grow strong in their own foster home. They’ll begin their adoption journey in mid-August.
Those interested in adopting can fill out an adoption application at or call (858)756-4117 ext. 1. You may also stop by Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road, in Rancho Santa Fe.