Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Service dog unexpectedly gives birth at Florida airport

Service dog unexpectedly gives birth at Florida airport

Tampa International Airport had a special delivery Friday from a service dog named Eleanor Rigby.

Diane Van Atter said her 2-year-old golden retriever, Ellie, went into labor unexpectedly as they were waiting to board a flight home to Philadelphia.

This is not something you expect to see when going to the airport.

They missed the flight, and for the next three hours created a fuzzy spectacle as crowds gathered with phones trying to capture the scene.

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

Van Atter said she knew her dog was pregnant, but they did not know how close to giving birth she was.

Personnel with the Tampa Fire Rescue, which documented the birth on Twitter, helped Elle to deliver her puppies.

James was talking to the Tampa Bay Times by phone from the airport when people started cheering in the background.

Both Eleanor Rigby and Golden Nugget are service dogs to Van Atter, who suffers from mobility and pain issues, an airport spokeswoman told the publication. The family, puppies and all, will be driving to Philadelphia instead, about 1,000 miles.

Paramedics Larry Glanton and lt Natalie Brown delivered seven male pups and a little girl, with proud dad Nugget (also a service dog) by Ellie's side throughout.

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