10 Year Old Pitbull Gives Birth to 15 Puppies After Being Abandoned & Surviving Cancer (Now This Mama Needs a Home!)

The Remarkable Resilience of Vala

In the quiet corners of rural North Carolina, amidst the struggles of poverty and limited animal welfare education, a senior pitbull named Vala embodies a story of remarkable resilience and the enduring spirit of survival. At 11 years old, her life’s journey, marked by both heartache and hope, resonates with a profound message of endurance.

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A Harrowing Beginning

Vala’s story begins with a shocking act of cruelty that would change her life forever. “It was a horrifying start for her,” recounts Amber, Vala’s foster and a Board of Directors member at Second Chance Ranch Rescue, a small foster-based rescue. “Vala was abandoned, thrown from a car, and shot at. It was an act of unimaginable cruelty.” This traumatic experience, however, was just the beginning of Vala’s challenging journey.

Mama Dog's Story

The Struggle for Survival

After her abandonment, Vala found a semblance of refuge with a local family who, despite their limited means and understanding of pet care, provided her with a a backyard and a shed. “They weren’t equipped to care for her, but they did what they could,” Amber explains.

Mama Dog's Story
Vala, when she first arrived at Second Chance Ranch Rescue in July 2022. She was pregnant with 15 puppies, had cancer, mange, fleas & ticks and heartworm.


In a dramatic turn of events, Vala was rescued from the property where she had been living in a shed. The local family surrendered her to the rescue, recognizing that her needs surpassed their ability to care for her. This pivotal moment in Vala’s life was the first step towards her recovery and search for a forever home, symbolizing a new beginning filled with care and compassion.

Vala’s Health Battles

Vala’s health upon arrival at her foster’s house was a major concern. She was suffering from a multitude of issues: flea and tick infestations, heartworms, mange, cancer, severe ear infections, conjunctivitis, a yeast infection on top of the mange, and malnourishment. “It was a critical situation,” Amber recalls. “Every aspect of her health needed attention.”

The journey to restore Vala’s health was arduous. “We started with the basics – treating her fleas, ticks, and nourishing her back to health,” Amber shares. Vala’s cancer was addressed with surgeries, and she underwent treatment for her heartworms. “Her recovery has been slow but steady,” Amber adds.

The Challenge of Motherhood

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Vala’s xray when she was pregnant with 15 puppies

At the age of 10, Vala faced another daunting challenge: pregnancy. Just three days after arriving to Amber’s house she went into labor. “Being a mother at her age was risky,” says Amber. “Her body was not in the best condition for pregnancy.” After three emergency visits to the vet, Vala gave birth to 15 puppies, a taxing event for her already frail health. Tragically, only six of the puppies survived, likely due to her age, her health conditions and the toll that her previous life had taken on her.

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Amber, Vala’s foster and Board of Directors Member at Second Chance Ranch Rescue.

Amber and her husband worked tirelessly to provide round-the-clock care. This included bottle feeding the puppies every two hours, closely monitoring their health, and providing necessary medical interventions. Despite these Herculean efforts, the fragility of the puppies’ health, compounded by Vala’s own compromised condition, meant that they struggled to save as many puppies as possible. The care provided during these critical days highlighted the rescue’s commitment to giving these animals a fighting chance at life.

Her Puppies All Got Adopted But She Is Still Waiting

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Despite the challenging start to the puppies’ lives, there was a silver lining for Vala’s surviving six puppies as each one found a loving forever home. The dedicated volunteers ensured that these puppies were adopted into families that could provide the care and affection they deserved. However, Vala, their brave mother, continues to wait patiently for her happily-ever-after. This is an all too common story. The mama dog is left waiting while the puppies, cute and new to the world, find homes quickly.

The Potato Queen Mommy

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Despite her past, Vala’s spirit remains unbroken. She has earned the affectionate nickname ‘Potato Queen Mommy’ for her love of relaxation and comfort. “She finds joy in the simplest things – a soft pillow, a warm spot in the sun,” says Amber, who has provided Vala a very comfortable home life. “It’s heartwarming to see her so content.”

The Search for a Forever Home

While Vala’s puppies found homes, she is patiently waiting for her forever family. “It’s a challenge finding the right home for a senior dog with her needs,” Amber admits. “But we’re committed to finding her the perfect match.”

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According to Amber, Vala’s ideal forever home would be one where she can enjoy a peaceful and stable environment, reflecting her calm and content nature and ideally a household without other pets, where she can receive undivided attention and care. Amber envisions a family that appreciates Vala’s need for a relaxed lifestyle, with plenty of comfortable spots for lounging and sunbathing. In essence, Vala’s perfect home would be a place of love and tranquility, where she can spend her senior years surrounded by comfort and affection, free from the stresses of her past.

The Bigger Picture: Animal Welfare in Rural North Carolina

Vala’s story sheds light on the broader issues of animal welfare in rural areas of North Carolina. Limited resources, lack of education on pet care, and poverty contribute to the challenges faced by animals. “Vala’s case isn’t unique in this area,” Amber points out. “It highlights the need for more community programs and resources.”

Animal welfare in rural areas like where Vala was found, presents a complex and challenging landscape. Limited resources, lack of education on proper pet care, and economic constraints contribute to high rates of animal abandonment and neglect.

The high euthanasia rates in North Carolina’s shelters, which are among the highest in the nation, underscore the urgency of addressing these issues.

 Animal Welfare in Rural North Carolina
Source: Veterniarians.org

Vala’s story is a microcosm of the broader challenges faced in rural North Carolina. Her journey is reflective of the plight of many animals in the region. It highlights the critical need for more comprehensive solutions to ensure the welfare and protection of animals in these underserved communities.

As Vala continues her journey, her story stands as a testament to the resilience of animals and the impact of dedicated care. “She’s more than a rescue dog; she’s a symbol of hope,” Amber concludes. “Her story is a powerful reminder of what love and compassion can achieve.”

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