Late in March, Kela was a heavily pregnant Great Dane mix who went into the care of the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Michigan.
She had been moved from a different shelter as Jackson County was better equipped to handle a dog in her condition. However, when she arrived, the staff quickly realized that they had a problem – the kiddie pool they owned wasn’t big enough to handle the expectant mother.
The shelter took to Facebook and appealed to the public for help, sharing a photo of the large dog in the tiny pool. Thankfully, support from the local community meant that Kela had a brand new, giant kiddie pool arrive “just in time” for her to go into labor.
The shelter proudly shared a photo of Kela with her 10 brand new puppies:
Following the birth, Kela and her pups were doing well. However, a new arrival to the shelter wasn’t fairing so well.
The shelter revealed on Facebook that they’d welcomed a tiny kitten into their care who was all alone with no one to care for him. Being so young, the kitten had been moved to one of the offices to wait for someone to come and hand-feed him. But, as the shelter staff soon found out, that wouldn’t be necessary.
Kela had heard the tiny kitten’s cries, and she was on the case. Despite having 10 puppies of her own, this mother dog was willing to take on another little baby. She headed to the office with the kitten, refusing to leave. The sweet mother dog was determined to adopt him.
As JCAS shared the comments of their Facebook post, “She wouldn’t leave the door leading to the kitten. We knew [she’d] just [eaten], [had] water, already went out to potty minutes earlier … but [she] kept scratching at the door…We opened it up to ask what she wanted, and she ran straight to the kitten in the box. We didn’t offer her the kitten, she insisted that she needed him.”
Lydia Sattler, the shelter’s animal services director, spoke with PEOPLE and said: “I opened the door to ask her what was wrong, and she immediately ran past me to the kitten. She stuck her head right in the box. I went and picked up the kitten, not knowing what Kela was doing. She tried to take him out of my hand and would not take her eyes off him. She also would not leave the kitten to go back to her puppies.”
Knowing that they weren’t going to convince Kela any other way, they decided to let Kela take the kitten back as one of her puppies. They added the little cat into the kiddie pool, and immediately, Mama Kela took over cleaning him. The shelter staff were touched to watch just how well the kitten blended into being a member of the little canine family.
They shared another post, writing, “Kela FINALLY chose her foster home! (She was quite selective) After turning down several great offers, she, along with her puppies AND kitten are settling into their own little paradise! We are so grateful for our amazing community that opens their hearts and homes to our pets! Thank you!!”
Once the puppies are weaned, the entire family will be up for adoption. While Kela gave the tiny kitten the loving comfort of a mother, the shelter announced that he didn’t survive.
The shelter wrote: “It’s common for mother’s to know there’s something genetically wrong with a kitten, and will often abandon them. That appears to be the case with this little one. We are comforted to know that he was always warm, always had a full belly and was completely content for the short time we were lucky enough to have him.”