MEET the one-year-old Westie who has become a big daddy after mating with a fully-grown Rottweiler to create a new cross-breed.
The surprise union between Joey, the West Highland Terrier, and canine giant Zara has produced 11 cross-bred puppies – dubbed “Wotties” – in what is thought to be one of the first cases.
Their owner Teresa Patterson was stunned to find the odd couple had mated within weeks of Joey moving in, and was unaware of their antics until the birth. Joey doted on each new puppy while four-year-old Zara initially did not seem interested in the puppies.
Four Wotties did not survive and Teresa, from North Grimston, contacted the Yorkshire Coast Dog Rescue in Scarborough for help to rehome the remaining seven. The charity appealed for new homes for the three girls and four boys after putting a post on its Facebook page headed ‘accidents can happen’.
Teresa’s sons Jonathan and Matthew have taken a puppy each and the remaining five have been rehomed.
Teresa, 50, an admin clerk, said: “We didn’t think it would have been possible. Zara didn’t know what to do and I just started screaming when the puppies started popping out. Then Joey did everything else.
“Zara wasn’t interested, but Joey would clean them up and not let anyone else near them.
“I was completely shocked. I didn’t think nature would let this happen but at some point it did. The puppies have a lovely temperament like their parents. They are high maintenance as they want attention all the time. But this won’t happen again – Joey will be going to the vets soon.”
Zara could not cope with feeding all seven and within three weeks the hungry brood was being fed Weetabix and scrambled egg by Teresa with Horlicks to help them sleep. One of the new owners is Victoria Lowe, from Scarborough, who took one of the “Wotties” when it was ten weeks old and named her Lola.
Victoria said: “It is all a bit of a mystery as to how big she will grow. She is so full of character and gets up to all kinds of mischief.”
The Kennel Club annually registers about 250,000 puppies across 212 breeds – with the organisation surprised about Zara and Joey’s offspring.
They said: “We can never say it has never happened, but this is the first time we’ve come across it.”