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.
“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.