Shelter Dog Becomes Surrogate for African Painted Pups

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium staff were desperately seeking a surrogate mom for nine African painted puppies when they searched the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society‘s North Side shelter and found the perfect match.  Honey, a lab mix, had just given birth six weeks prior and was still able to nurse.

This domestic mixed-breed dog is acting as a surrogate mom for nine African painted dog pups at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The pups mom died a few days after their birth.

This domestic mixed-breed dog is acting as a surrogate mom for nine African painted dog pups at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The pups' mom died a few days after their birth.

“Latching onto nipples is huge for them, much better than latching onto a bottle,” said Dr. Stephanie James, the zoo’s director of veterinary service. “Raising African painted dogs on a domestic dog has not been done before. We’re breaking the mold.”

[…] “[Honey]’s just been perfect, an absolutely fabulous mom,” Dr. Baker [the zoo’s president and chief executive officer] said. “All of the pups are gaining weight.”

It’s too soon to know if all nine pups will survive, but thanks to this local shelter dog they’ve been given a fighting chance.

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