Piper’s future wasn’t looking so good. In addition to being very pregnant, she had worms and a highly contagious form of mange, and, the poor pup was sitting in a high-kill Texas shelter, awaiting her fate.
In a huge twist of fate, not only for Piper and the four pups growing in her belly, but for a pair of orphaned raccoon cubs she would soon meet, rescuers from Citizens for Animals of Midland Odessa, agreed to take her. With the help of a volunteer from Pilots N Paws, Piper made it to her new foster home with animal rescuer Crystal Crotwell in San Angelo.
Just a few days after giving birth to 4 healthy pups, Crotwell got a call to care for 2 month-old raccoons whose mother had been killed.
Just as she was about to bottle feed the pair with kitten formula, Piper, intrigued by all the noise of two squealing raccoon babies, wandered over for a look.
Piper immediately seemed interested, in a gentle, caring way.
Crotwell wondered if her new mom to four would take to nursing the orphaned raccoons, and if the raccoons would be interested in joining her 4 tiny pups.
“As soon as they saw her, they went for her nipples. They latched on. She let them,” Crotwell says. “They nursed and nursed and nursed. She cleaned them when they were done.”
With plenty of milk – and love – to offer, the raccoons nursed right alongside their canine brothers and sisters.
After about 3 weeks, the puppies grew larger than the raccoons and began chewing and biting. Crotwell, afraid the pups might hurt the tiny cubs placed the pair with a nearby wildlife rehabilitator who will care for them until they’re old enough to be released into the wild safely.
All of Piper’s babies, both canine and raccoon, are doing well and thriving. And it’s all thanks to a team of rescuers that took a chance on one very amazing dog.