Unexpected airport arrival: Dog gives birth at Tampa International

Image 1 of 15

Photo courtesy Tampa Fire Rescue

It’s not exactly airmail, but a very special delivery just wrapped up at Tampa International Airport. A passenger’s service dog gave birth to eight puppies in the middle of the concourse.

According to an airport spokesperson, a woman and her daughter were on their way to Philadelphia this morning with a pair of service dogs when one of them went into labor.  The women said that they knew 'Ellie' the yellow Lab was pregnant, but they were not aware of how close she apparently was to giving birth.

Initially, seven puppies (all boys!) were born but Tampa Fire Rescue’s medical team – admirably stepping up as impromptu veterinarians – had to help Ellie deliver an eighth

The unusual scene drew quite a crowd outside of the Gasparilla Bar at TIA’s Airside F.  Officers, airport employees, and passengers all paused to watch the pups’ arrival. Proud papa 'Nugget' was looking on, too.

A round of applause – and a few barks – echoed through the terminal after Puppy 8 (a girl!) was successfully delivered.

And yes, the two women have since missed their flight to Philly. Airlines don't generally allow pups to fly until they are 8 weeks old, so the family will have to find another way there – with 10 dogs instead of two.