The Victoria Humane Society is making an unusual request to help nurse a large litter of puppies whose mother died giving birth.

The rescue organization said it had a pregnant and distressed Bernese mountain dog come into its care Tuesday before the dog gave birth to nine puppies.

The mother and all nine puppies made it, but hours later another pregnant dog in distress arrived at the humane society.

The golden retriever died despite emergency surgery, but the litter of 11 puppies she gave birth to survived.

The Bernese mountain dog is now nursing all 20 of the puppies in shifts, but the Humane Society wants to call in some relief for the exhausted dog.

It's appealing to any dog owners who have a new mother that could help nurse some of the puppies. Anyone who can help is asked to contact the Victoria Humane Society.

The society's executive director Penny Stone says she knows the adorable puppies will be popular, but they won't be put up for adoption until they all get a clean bill of health.