A dog that recently gave birth to a litter of puppies at a New York City animal shelter is helping to raise an orphaned kitten named Roadhouse, nursing her along with the tiny pups.
The dog, a white Maltese named Coco, was brought to the Animal Haven pet shelter in SoHo after being rescued from a hoarding situation, the organization says, and gave birth to a litter after she came in.
A few days after the pups were born, shelter employees decided to try to get the kitten to nurse with Coco's litter because Roadhouse wouldn't take formula from a bottle, according to Animal Haven associate director Kendra Mara.
"We said, 'What would happen if we put the kitten with Coco,' and it was instantaneous," Mara said.
The shelter says Roadhouse has formed a “beautiful bond” with Coco and her 3-week-old pups. The kitten named for her rough-and-tumble nature will drink from a bottle now, but prefers nursing with Coco and spending time with the litter.
"She seems to do much better with Coco," Mara said.
Dozens of people have already expressed interest in adopting the fuzzy black kitten, Coco and her puppies.
The animals were put up for adoption in early July. Visit Animal Haven's website for more information.
See video of Roadhouse and the puppies nursing below.