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LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — A dog is recovering after surviving two gunshot wounds in her abdomen and giving birth to a litter of eight puppies.

The dog named Merida, who is believed to be a Rottweiler-chow mix, was found severely injured on Feb. 22 in a shed in horrid conditions near Spalding.

Her puppies were found infected with canine parvovirus, which according to WebMD, is a highly contagious disease that attacks a dog’s white blood cells and cause severe intestinal tracts issues and lifelong organ issues.

With two heavily infected wounds, the mother was unable to produce milk and had to scrounge scraps to feed her litter, the Lewiston Tribune reported on Monday.

By the time members of the online nonprofit group Zeus’s Friends rescued the mother and her pups, the shed was covered in bloody excrement.

Two of the puppies did not survive.

Merida was taken to a Riverview Animal Clinic in Clarkston where the channels where two .22-caliber bullets entered were cleaned out.

Veterinary staff are unsure of when Merida was shot or if she was carrying the litter at the time of injury.

The six surviving puppies are clear of their infections and are learning how to enjoy human interaction.

Since Merida does not shy away from human touch and has been happy since she was picked up, the group believes that Merida may have previously had a home.

Zeus’s Friends volunteer Rita Leslie, who has been caring for Merida at her Clarkson home since she was rescued, said Merida may need to stay in recovery for at least another month before she can be ready for adoption.

“Everyone wants her since she’s such a hero,” Leslie said. “We still want to find the right home for her where she will be spoiled forever, because she deserves it.”

The puppies will be available for adoption in about two weeks, said Raechel Irby, a volunteer caring for the pups.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune,