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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 07:47 GMT
Dog's 24-strong litter 'a record'
mastiff puppies
Each pup is thought to be worth about 1,000 each
A mastiff dog is set to break a world record after giving birth to a litter of 24 puppies.

Breeders Damian Ward and his girlfriend Anne Kellegher, from Manea, Cambs, had only been expecting two-year-old Tia to give birth to 10.

Unfortunately, four of the pups have now died, but the remaining pups - which are now seven weeks old - are thought to be worth about 1,000 each.

A Guinness World Records spokesman said the current record stands at 23.

Mr Ward said: "She certainly surprised us. When she went in for the caesarean I thought we would lose her and the pups.
The pups' father, Caesar
Tia was bred with Caesar, who belongs to Ms Kellegher's sister

"I was in shock for about two weeks. I was just a feeding robot."

When fully grown the dogs will stand more than 2ft tall and weigh up to 13 stones.

Tia's achievement is now likely to set two new records in the Guinness World Records - that of the biggest litter and that of the most surviving puppies.

Guinness World Records spokesman Sam Knight said: "The current record is 23 so we will be making contact with the owners.

"If it is true that the dog has given birth to 24 puppies than it will be a new world record."

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