Penny, the dusty gold Labrador retriever mix who became the darling of Lawrence social media last month during a search to find the pregnant runaway, is now a mother.
Two weeks ago today, Penny gave birth to 13, yes, 13 puppies, said Kate Meghji, executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society.
Sadly not all the pups made it, Meghji said, but six are doing well.
An announcement about the births was put on hold until the surviving puppies were stronger, Meghji said.
"She had an awful lot of puppies," Meghji said. "Several were still-born, and we lost a couple later. We are trying to be as cautiously optimistic as possible."
Four of the pups were still-born, but one of the biggest challenges caretakers faced was that Penny, who is roughly 18 months old, was not a natural mother, Meghji said. She would not accept three of the nine pups that were left. Those pups were placed in a foster home and bottle fed, but they did not survive.
"It is heartbreaking," Meghji said. "But Penny is doing great, she is warming up to people, and so are the remaining puppies. It's been challenging."
The Humane Society has set up a baby registry online at Amazon. People wishing to help can buy products such as pet baby bottles, heating pads and powdered milk.
The registry can be found at www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1NTXL5XMPUYUL?pldnSite=1
Items that are donated will be used for Penny and the many litters of puppies and kittens that have started coming in to the Humane Society as spring and summer pet birthing season gets underway.
"In the spring and summer, we have our hands full with litters of kittens and puppies," Meghji said.
Many people have expressed interest in adopting the puppies, she added.
"I have no idea what we are going to do when they are ready to be adopted," she said. "We are looking for a fair way to do it."
Penny arrived in Lawrence at a foster home after being rescued from a "bad situation" in southeastern Kansas, but soon bolted from that home on Feb. 16. She became an instant Internet celebrity as her photo was shared hundreds of times on various social media outlets, and nearly 1,000 Facebook users "liked" the "Help Find Penny" Facebook page.
Penny's uneasiness around people and the frigid temperatures made the dog's rescue difficult.
She was spotted many times over four days, and six sightings were reported on Facebook.
Finally, Kansas Department of Agriculture inspector Carman Simon, who had rescued her, drove to Lawrence from her Coffey County home to aid in the search. Animal activist and former state Rep. Ginger Barr came with Simon.
After a report that Penny was in a backyard near 11th and Oregon streets, Simon went there, and Penny recognized her and came to her.
"So many people were looking for Penny and trying to find her," Meghji said. "We are so grateful for that."