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/ Source: TODAY
By Joe Fay

A 4-year-old Great Dane named Cleo recently gave birth to 19 puppies via cesarean section at Kingman Animal Hospital (KAH) in Arizona.

All of the puppies are healthy and 17 have been able to go home with their mother. The other two still require around-the-clock care at the animal hospital.

Eleven staff members at KAH successfully performed the procedure on Saturday morning and announced the happy news on Facebook later that afternoon. Since then, their post has gone viral, accumulating over four thousand reactions and one thousand comments.

Most of the puppies already have forever homes lined up.

The dog's owner, Rebecca, who is withholding her last name for privacy reasons, is blown away by the attention Cleo's story has received.

"My pups are famous," she told TODAY. "I have people flying from Pennsylvania to come get their puppy ... as well as driving from Illinois, Nevada (and) California."

Cleo, a 4-year-old Great Dane, gave birth to 19 healthy puppies last Saturday in Kingman, Arizona.Rebecca of Cleo's Legacy Danes

Before the 19 siblings move on to their new families, they are being cared for by Rebecca and her family, which includes her husband, son and stepdaughter.

"I'm super tired and feel like I just had a newborn or 19 ... (so) without their help I would be a basket case," she said. "I appreciate their help so much and know I wouldn't be able to do this without them."

Every three hours, one of the family members feeds the puppies by hand and then returns them to their mother. "(Cleo) is at peace when they are all with her," Rebecca said. "She was very restless and upset without all her pups. She was stealing them out of the baskets and hiding them under the blankets from me."

The average Great Dane litter is eight to 10 puppies. Rebecca noted that it is rare for all the puppies in a litter as large as hers to survive, but credited the hard work of KAH for all 19 surviving.

"I want to personally thank the vet team at Kingman Animal Hospital," she said. "They are amazing there and really care about the animals."

Though rare, litters this large do happen. In 2014, a Pennsylvania family also welcomed a litter of 19 Great Dane puppies that all survived.