Hand-feeding pups no easy task for this Yalca farming family

By Rodney Woods

If having 10 pups running around isn't hard work enough, the Wilson family, from Yalca, had to hand feed them after their mum Ava died. With help from other family members as well as one of Diana's friends, they were able to keep nine alive — each now sold to dog lovers right across Victoria.

Can you tell us the story of how the family came to raise the pups?

Diana: Ava was killed on the highway and the following morning I found 10 puppies under an old ute. We knew she had been close to having pups. Our guess was that they were about two days old. This led to a mad rush on a Saturday morning to buy bottles and milk powder before the Numurkah Vet Clinic closed.

What breeds are the pups’ parents?

The father of the puppies is a brown kelpie named Jaegar. He's a great friendly dog. The mother of the puppies was a black and tan kelpie.

How difficult is it to feed so many pups?

After a couple of days we took five of the pups to be looked after by my sister and brother-in-law in Numurkah, as the pups needed feeding four times a day, for about five weeks — it was very time consuming. My brother-in-law even took the five of them to work one day in Shepparton, to ensure they were fed.

A friend and work colleague of mine, Steph, also looked after them one weekend to give us a break.

Anthony (Diana's husband), the kids and I had a feeding roster at home so it was a team effort keeping them alive.

How attached did you get to them before they were sold?

We did have to get one pup put down but the rest thrived and we became very attached to them. They would come running and hang off our legs when it was bottle feeding time. They all have beautiful personalities and also love to fight each other.

How difficult was it to sell them?

It was really sad to see each pup go but the joy of their new owners as they picked them up made it easier.

Do you have any other pets?

Somehow our kids convinced us, in the middle of having nine puppies to feed, to purchase a dachshund-cross-Jack Russell. She has quickly become part of the family and is very much loved, but I think she is missing the puppies — she loved to fight and wrestle them.