Family Life

Emergency services rally around dog who gave birth at busy airport

Talk about surprise baggage! 

Ellie the golden retriever was due to board a flight with her owner, Diane Van Atter, when she suddenly went into labour in Tampa International Airport.  

It is unclear as to whether or not Ellie is a service dog and why she was about to fly while so heavily pregnant. 

According to the public information officer for Tampa Fire and Rescue, Aircraft Rescue Firefighters (ARFF) responded to the call for help when it became clear the dog was about to give birth. 

Speaking to TODAY, Emily Nipps, senior communications manager for Tampa International Airport, explained that a nurse in the crowd helped with the delivery. She delivered five out of seven of the pups before having to catch her flight.  

The delivery went on for about four hours, Nipps added. Many bystanders even missed their flights to witness the "magical" event.

First on the scene was Lt. Natalie Brown. 

"My partner and I jumped in the rescue car. By the time we got to the air site, two puppies had already been born," she said. 

"I got my (obstetrics and gynaecology) kit. I wanted to move the dog to a quieter area, but the owner was concerned about moving her so I said, 'No problem.' It was an incredible moment." 

The puppies father, Golden Nugget, started barking and jumping with excitement as the puppies were born. 

At the end of the ordeal, Ellie lay nursing her eight new pups while onlookers got pictures. 

What a paw-fect delivery! 

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