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Oak Harbor's Sugar Baby has 16 sweet puppies

It looks as though all of Sugar Baby’s puppies were born in good health. However, the Hurst family will have to bottle feed several of the puppies to ensure they receive enough food.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
It looks as though all of Sugar Baby’s puppies were born in good health. However, the Hurst family will have to bottle feed several of the puppies to ensure they receive enough food.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

It turned out the Hurst family was too late when they tried to get their chocolate Labrador retriever, Sugar Baby, spayed. That was when they found out the 3-year-old pet was pregnant.

And she gave birth to a lot of puppies. She started delivering puppies at around noon Tuesday and she didn’t finish until more than 12 hours later. By then, Sugar was the proud mom of 16 newborn, black or yellow, Labrador puppies.

“They just kept coming,” Ken Hurst said Wednesday afternoon. When Sugar was finished, the Hursts were owners of one male black lab, six female black labs, five male yellow labs and four female yellow labs. Despite being a chocolate lab, Sugar did not give birth to any brown-colored dogs. Lacey, who had hoped to breed labs at one point, said a lab can give birth to either brown, black or yellow colored puppies.

Sugar’s litter appears to be short of the doggie delivery record. According to various newspaper articles, a Neapolitan mastiff in the United Kingdom gave birth to 24 puppies in 2005. Then, in 2009, a Dalmatian, also from the United Kingdom, gave birth to 33 puppies in two separate litters in a single year.

Lacey took the puppies and Sugar to the veterinarian Wednesday and they are all in good health. She said some of the puppies will have to be bottle fed because Sugar won’t be able to produce enough milk to nurse all of the puppies. She said she’ll keep an eye on the smaller ones to make sure they get fed.

The puppies’ dad is probably a black lab they encountered while camping at Lake Stevens over the summer, Lacey said.

Approximately three weeks ago, they brought Sugar to the veterinarian for a pre-consultation to get her spayed when they found out the news about their pregnant Labrador.

The Hursts will care for the puppies until they’re large enough and healthy enough to sell, though the family will keep the darkest colored yellow lab of the litter. She has already picked out a name for the newest member of the Hurst family, Spice.

Ken is an avionics technician in the Navy. Lacey, is an office manager for a dental clinic. The couple have four boys ages 5 to 13.

Lacey said they’ll start advertising the puppies in early November and they should be available in early December. For more information, contact Lacey Hurst at 360-632-0554.

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