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Sweet Life for Sugar and her 18 Puppies Thanks to Animal Control

In early October 2023, Sugar, a beautiful caramel-coloured Catahoula-cross, along with her litter of four five-month-old puppies were surrendered to the Waikato District Council’s Animal Control team. Within the first week, the team noticed something peculiar was going on – Sugar looked like she’d had one too many treats and was getting bigger by the day. She was pregnant again.

When she went into labour, the Animal Control team were amazed. The puppies just kept coming – 14 of them in total, making her a mother of at least 18 at only three-years-old.

“It’s such a shame to see so many pregnant and undesexed dogs coming into our care, as well as unwanted puppies,” says Animal Education and Engagement Officer, Zoey Jackson.

“We offer a subsidised dog desexing programme through our PUP Fund, which runs year-round. No dog should have to be unwanted.”

Sugar’s puppies – all with on-theme names like Fudge, Oreo, and even Toblerone – quickly found their forever homes through Animal Control’s adoption programme, Waikato Pound Pups. Sugar was also advertised for adoption several times, but there were no bites. Sugar remained in the Pukekohe Pound, albeit in high spirits, for over eight months.

“We never gave up on our sweet girl,” says Jackson, “we knew the right family for her would find her, and give her the wonderful life she deserves.”

The wait paid off, as last week, she finally found her forever home. Sugar is now living her best life, enjoying sleeping in front of the fire, going on walks, and getting plenty of cuddles from her new parents.

Every year, the Waikato District Animal Control team helps find homes for over 200 dogs who come into their care unwanted or neglected because of being unwanted. For more information about their subsidised desexing programme, visit