Doctors had told Joanne Hine that her Great Dane and American bulldog named Mary Jane was pregnant and would have six to eight puppies. But as Mary's due date was getting closer, an inspection revealed that the actual number would be much higher. On November 20 Mary Jane gave birth to 21 puppies naturally.
Mary Jane's litter of 21 puppies is just short of the 2004 Guinness World Record of 24 puppies which are held by a Neapolitan mastiff from Cambridgeshire called Tia. But Tia's litter of 24 were born through a caesarean procedure while Mary Jane gave birth naturally meaning that she just might have broken a new record. Mary Jane's mother said that she was shocked when the doctors told her that the litter would have more than six to eight puppies. She also added that she was extremely proud of Mary Jane who did all of it on her own with the doctors from Jane Callow Veterinary Practice by her side.
Unfortunately, six of the puppies were stillborn and one died soon after the birth. The remaining 14 puppies have to have constant care and are being looked after round the click by Mary Jane and Hine. The problem arises when one realises that Mary Jane can only feed 9 of the pups at a time and that the remaining pups have to be bottle-fed, which means that feeding the pups is a team effort. The puppies have inherited their mother's colouring and have inherited their fathers face. Their father is a cross between a bullmastiff and a rottweiler.
To ensure that all the puppies receive love and attention, Hine has made a special homemade crib that can fit all the puppies, as well as their mom, and Hine has started to sleep with the mom and puppies so that she can better take care of them.