Unexpected airport arrival: Dog gives birth at Tampa International

Randal Sanchez
May 29, 2018

A golden retriever service dog about to board a domestic flight in the United States has instead given birth to a litter of puppies at the airport terminal in front of astonished fellow passengers.

The 2-year-old yellow lab, Eleanor "Elle" Rigby, (named after The Beatles song of the same name), gave birth to eight puppies - seven males and one female, according to the Tampa Fire Rescue.

Tampa Fire Rescue documented the exciting moment, posting pictures and video on Twitter.

The family, the puppies and the parents missed the flight.

Van Atter said Rigby was still training as a service dog to help her with mobility and pain issues.

Van Atter's stepmother, Karen James, told the Times that they knew the golden retriever was pregnant, but believed the excitement of being in the airport around so many new people might have triggered the early births.

The owner of the service dog Paramedic Larry Glanton an unidentified woman and Lt Natalie Brown smile for the camera after Ellie delivered all eight of the pups

"I have to go, the father is getting excited", she said.

"All of sudden, she started shaking and her tail went up".

No planes were delayed and all the puppies were successfully delivered.

The puppies aren't allowed to fly for another eight weeks so Van Atter said she will drive home with them.

So far, Ellie has delivered five boys.

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