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After losing her own puppies, a grieving rescue dog adopted a trio of orphaned kittens and quickly began raising them as her own.
When Sunshine Dog Rescue of Phoenix, Arizona rescued a pregnant Australian Shepherd mix from a gas station near the U.S./Mexico border, hope for a better life for the rescue dog quickly turned to desperation.
Rescuers named the mom-to-be Georgia and promised to care for her and her puppies. But, Georgia went into labor prematurely and none of her babies survived.
Anita Osa, founder of Sunshine Dog Rescue, said Georgia was clearly devastated after losing her babies. “I’ve never had a mom dog lose a whole litter before. The best way I could describe it was she was frantic. It was so sad, she was looking for those babies. She tore up the toddler mattress we had her on, trying to find her babies,” she told ABC15.
The rescue first gave Georgia a stuffed puppy with a heartbeat, which seemed to help calm her. But, the grieving mom was still struggling. So, Osa put out a call for any animals that needed a lactating mother dog. That’s when a trio of newly orphaned kittens turned up in need of help.
Unsure if Georgia would take to the kittens (and if the kittens would take to her), Osa slowly introduced just one. “I first bought one out and let her sniff it, and she seemed to accept it, so I brought the others out. It’s amazing to see how she instantly calmed down,” she explained.
The kittens, Osa said, don’t seem to realize Georgia is a dog.
After a few days of learning their new roles with support from rescuers, mom and her adopted babies have all bonded beautifully. Georgia is a wonderful mother, allowing the kittens to nurse, cleaning her new babies, and snuggling with them during naps.
“It’s really something to see, she protects those kittens just as if they were her babies,” said Osa.