FIVE veterinary nurses brought a tiny puppy back from the brink by becoming surrogate mothers.
The team from Abercorn Vets in Portobello, Edinburgh, took turns to nurse Hank round the clock and feed him every three hours after the Staffie pup was taken to the surgery to be rehomed at only two weeks old.
Hank was the weakest puppy in a litter of 11 because he wasn’t getting enough milk from his mother, so the worried breeder brought him into Abercorn Vets on Portobello High Street to ask if they could care for him.
Head Veterinary Nurse Lauren MacDonald and colleagues Nicola McClement, Katy Galloway, Rachel Sibbald and Samantha MacGregor stepped in and agreed to foster him to ensure he had all the love and care he needed.
Hank has grown into a happy and healthy eight-week-old pup, who now has a place to call his own after being rehomed by Abercorn vet James Thornton-Smith and his partner Jenny Inglis.
Lauren said: “We all grouped together to head-rear him, taking turns to take him home and get up during the night to feed him every three hours.
“It was just like having a new baby as getting up twice in the middle of the night was very tiring and demanding.
“Puppies should be with their mothers until they are eight weeks, and there are potential problems when you hard-rear a puppy.
“He was pretty underweight when he first came to us so that was an added complication, and there is also the challenge of teaching him to go to the toilet.”
Nicola added: “It has been really hard work, but great fun and extremely rewarding for us all.
“He was so cute that we couldn’t resist taking him on, and the teamwork to hand-rear him has been amazing.
“He is so well behaved, although he loves chewing our name badges and fob watches on our uniforms when we pick him up, and he is into everything.
“It’s lovely to see him looking so well and it’s great news that he has a lovely home to go to with James, who will regularly bring him in to see us all.”
Hank is settling into James’ home in Edinburgh with the vet’s two other dogs, Dee and Bugg.
James said: “Our veterinary nurses have done a great job hand-rearing him, and shown the level of dedication and care they give all our clients and their pets.
“They all took turns doing a shift to feed and care for him, and he is growing up into a lovely dog.”
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