Staff members at Jackson County Animal Shelter (JCAS) have cared for many pregnant pups, but one, in particular, stole their hearts recently. The expectant Great Dane mix, Kela, had 10 healthy puppies under the shelter’s care, and, while she was a loving mother right away, it wasn’t until she adopted an unlikely baby that they realized how special she was.
When Kela first got to the shelter, she was pregnant and quickly getting bigger. Her friends at JCAS did everything they could to make her comfortable, but her size made it more difficult than usual. One day, they noticed her lying in a baby pool that she was too big to fit in it, so they asked the public for help finding a bigger one.
You can see their plea here:
The community responded with lightning speed, and, within hours, Kela had a donated tub big enough to have her babies in. The next day, the shelter announced the birth of Kela’s puppies with a picture of the adorable family and a message of gratitude.
“Thank you so very much for the pool donation, it was just in time!” JCAS wrote on Facebook.
A couple of days later, the shelter posted a series of pictures of Kela spending time with her babies. It was just the beginning of their time together, but the new mama was already attentive to her puppies’ needs.
In between nursing them, Kela loved snuggling up with her bundles of joy for naps. It was hard work bringing them into the world, and, finally, she could enjoy the fruits of her labor.
Just when her caregivers thought she couldn’t be a better mom, Kela did the unexpected.
A few days after helping Kela give birth, JCAS took in another tiny baby. The young kitten was brought into the shelter as a single stray, found alone with no siblings or parents around, and he was audibly distressed. As he cried in the box, Kela’s maternal instincts kicked in.
“She wouldn’t leave the door leading to the kitten,” JCAS wrote in a Facebook comment. “We knew [she’d] just [eaten], [had] water, already went out to potty minutes earlier … but [she] kept scratching at the door.”
Curious, the team opened the door, and Kela reacted as quickly as possible.
“We opened it up to ask what she wanted, and she ran straight to the kitten in the box,” JCAS continued. “We didn’t offer her the kitten, she insisted that she needed him.”
Kela became instantly obsessed with the kitten. The shelter staff discussed their options and ultimately decided to add the kitten to Kela’s litter of puppies.
“We put the kitten in her pool, and only then did she lay back down in the pool with all her babies,” JCAS wrote. “She instantly started cleaning him. It was 100 [percent] her idea, and she wasn’t taking no for an answer.”
JCAS is still trying to figure out what’s best for the kitten, but, so far, the tiny family is getting along great. They recently went to an amazing foster home together, kitten included, and the sweet mama dog is happier than ever.
The shelter is looking for a backup plan in case the kitten is eventually rejected by her new mom, but, so far, it hasn’t been a problem.
For now, the blended family will grow together until they’re all big enough to be adopted. With eight more weeks to go until they say goodbye, the shelter knows that the best days with Kela and all her babies are yet to come.