Pregnant Chihuahua Poses for Maternity Photo Shoot After Rescue From Alleged Hoarder Home
Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close "pup!"
Hazel the Chihuahua is showing off her baby bump in a series of chic maternity photos, yet the poor pooch's past life depicts a less glamorous scene.
Earlier this week, Hazel was among 34 Chihuahuas who were rescued from a Florida home where animal feces and urine lined the floor. Used plastic plates, half-eaten food and cigarette butts were also scattered all over the home.
Tamara Daniels, 54, who was living in the home with two teenagers, has been charged with two counts of child neglect without great bodily harm. The teens were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families.
The Chihuahuas, who ranged from newborn puppies to a couple years old, were turned over to the SPCA of Brevard County, where they are receiving care until they can be put up for adoption.
Three of the Chihuahuas, however, were pregnant.
Hazel, who is now being fostered by Melissa Benzel of Melbourne, was one of them.
"I thought she looked scared, and very broken. Her eyes were sad," Benzel told InsideEdition.com.
The Chihuahua is just now becoming potty trained, Benzel said, and the family has to handfeed the pup because she's afraid of food bowls.
"I don't know if she's ever felt grass before," Benzel said, "but she's adjusted extremely fast and she's bonded with my daughter. She's very sweet."
Benzel said as a birth story photographer for 9 years, she has a tradition of photographing dogs she fosters.
But she said this particular pup deserves the full treatment.
"I take birth stories for humans, so we decided to give her a treat," she said. "Treat her as much a part of our family as we can."
Despite her traumatized past, Benzel said the soon-to-be-mama was calm and composed as she was posed and photographed. "Most dogs, I have to bribe them with a treat," she joked.
One of the pregnant dogs in the trio has already given birth, and Benzel expects Hazel to be next: "She's huge. You can feel the puppies moving, so hopefully soon. I'm hoping any moment."
After Hazel delivers her puppies, she will stay with the foster mom for at least another eight weeks, in which time Benzel said she will be excited to capture the rest of her birth series to be uploaded to her Facebook, Benzel Photography.