(KUTV) Stevoni Doyle has fostered dogs for more than a decade, but she’s never had one do what this pregnant pit bull did Monday morning.
Grayce, was a 2-year-old neglected purebred pit bull in need of being picked up from a home, Doyle told KUTV in a phone interview on Tuesday night.
She rescued Grayce three weeks ago through the Rescue Rovers pet adoption organization.
On Sunday night Grayce gave birth to a litter of 11 puppies, made up of 1 girl and 10 boys – then something crazy happened.
As the puppies would cry, Grayce would pick them up and bring them to Doyle and place them in her lap.
“When I got home last night she picked them all up one by one.”
Then, the first-time mother would come up to her pup midwife and get comfort.
“She laid on me and wanted me to love her too,” Doyle said. “She would crawl on my lap and nurse her puppies if I would let her.”
Doyle has been fostering dogs through Rescue Rovers since the organization began about four years ago and decided to start taking pregnant dogs because of the extra special bond she would receive. In the past ten years she has fostered over 100 dogs not including their puppies, even before Rescue Rover began.
“There’s something about saving a dog’s life and giving affection,” Doyle said. “It’s so different when you have a pregnant momma.”
The bonding experience was unlike any other and she wanted to adopt more pregnant dogs.
“I just knew this is something I could continue to do.”
Most of the mothers are very protective of their pups and won’t bring them to her, despite the trust she has built up with them prior to the delivery.
But Grayce was different.
“She’s the first one that has ever brought them over and been like, ‘here you go.’”
Pit bulls get a bad rap, she says, but it’s not the breed that is the problem.
“I love any breed. They aren’t handled right. They have such a bad rap. How can people say pit bulls are awful dogs, if she is doing this and bringing me her puppies after only three weeks of knowing me.”
While this experience has been the zenith of her fostering adventure, she added that fostering isn't easy. There have been very sad times when she's watched plenty of puppies die during delivery.
"I love it, It's not easy, I’m not going to lie there, but it’s so worth it," she said.
Doyle is happy to say this is the last time Grayce will have to worry about delivering 11 pups again.
"She’s going to get spayed, her puppies will be adopted."
The video had 12 million views in 24 hours and it all began as an accident.
"I never expected this," Doyle told KUTV of the viral reaction to the video. "It was completely by accident. Those people just fell in love with her and it just took off. I didn’t even know that was possible."
Doyle said her story went viral after she posted some photos of Grayce before she delivered the pups by accident to a Facebook meme sharing group page called Don't Poke The Bear 3.0, instead of her own personal page.
"I went to share pictures of (Grayce) on Rescue Rovers. I didn’t mean to share it there."
She apologized for accidentally posting to the Facebook group with more than 17,000 fans, but everyone responded by telling her she couldn't leave them hanging and needed to keep the group updated when Grayce had her pups.
"It’s just taken off from there."
The only person Grayce felt comfort around was her new foster mommy.
"She wants the reassurance that she’s doing the right thing," Doyle said. "I’m honored that she chose me to do this with."
The pups will be adopted about six weeks from now, Rescue Rover says adding that the adoptive parents will need to reside in Utah and the process for picking a new owener is very strict.
Doyle said the best part of sharing her story has been the love she has received from strangers.
"The outpouring of love I have gotten from people for Grayce is absolutely unbelievable.”