Nobody knows what the story is behind this unlikely pair, but this has got to be the “AWWWWW” tale of the year.
Anderson County SC Animal Control Officer Michelle Smith was on a rescue mission to save a yelping Shih Tsu tangled up in a knot of briar bushes. But she was taken aback when she got closer and saw the dog was curled up with a 5-week-old kitten — who was nursing on the dog. The dog refused to leave without the kitten.
“I didn’t know what to think,” she said. “I was shocked and surprised and then of course, awww.”
Volunteers at the shelter marveled at the motherly way the dog cared for the wee kitten. Shelter Director Jessica Cwynar says that such behavior is natural. “It would be like one of us seeing a neglected or abandoned child and taking it under our wing,” she said. The pair naps and eats together and when they get bored, “they stare at each other.”
When the kitten strays too close to the edge of the cage, her canine mother picks her up by the nape of her neck and carries her back to their bed. The kitten does not appear to be bothered by the stench of dog spit.
The dog did not likely have a litter of her own. Cwynar said she probably experienced a surge of hormones that induced milk production. ”She’s producing some, but not all that (the kitten) will need nutrition-wise,” Cwynar said.
The kitten is bottle-fed milk, after which the dog licks her mouth clean. Then the kitten climbs on the dog’s back to sleep.
The shelter believes the dog is someone’s pet; she is well-groomed and has a collar. Cwynar hopes the dog’s owners comes forward and are willing to add a kitten to their household. If not, there’s a long line of potential foster homes queued up.
Rescuer Smith is more of a dog person than cat person (we’re not holding that against her), but seeing the dog and kitten together reminded her of why she loves her job. “Good things happen all the time, but great happens seldom,” Smith said. “This is enough to keep me going the next six or eight months.”
Can you see the familial resemblance?
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