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Central Veterinary Hospital manager Elizabeth Jardine-Pereira, right, kisses a German shepherd that is being treated at the hospital with her seven puppies on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 in Fremont, Calif. The German shepherd was found tied to a park bench in Newark while it was having puppies. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

NEWARK -- Police are searching for the person who left a German shepherd tied to a park bench in Newark while it was having puppies.

The pregnant black-and-tan dog was still in labor when an officer found it in Newark's Lakeshore Park about 8:22 a.m. Sunday, and had already given birth to several puppies, police said.

Officer Jennifer Bloom said she then noticed that the dog was in distress and trying to bury one of the puppies that had died during birth.

"You know we go through training on how to help a woman deliver a baby, but we never had to deal with puppies," Bloom told KGO.

Bloom then loaded the dog into her patrol car to transport it to Central Veterinary Hospital in Fremont. During the drive, the dog gave birth to two more puppies, police said.

"I heard some puppies screaming in the back and I knew she was actively giving birth to more as I was driving over there," Bloom said.

Veterinary assistant Beatriz Retana said the German shepherd appeared to be a first-time mother and less than a year old.

In all, the dog gave birth to nine puppies, but two did not survive, police said.

The dog did not have tags or a microchip, so veterinary workers named her Bristol.

So far no one has come forth to claim the dog, so the dog and her puppies will be soon available for adoption, Carroll said.

Police are investigating the incident as an animal cruelty case.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 510-578-4237. Information can also be left anonymously on a hotline at 510-578-4000, ext. 500.


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Television station KGO contributed to this report. Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.