When an animal welfare worker heard about a dog in need of her help, she rushed to the scene. When she got there, she found a female pit bull by the roadside. However, little did she know that the dog was protecting another poor defenceless creature.
Dallas DogRRR is a volunteer-run animal welfare group based in Dallas, Texas. As part of its work, the organization rescues stray dogs from the city’s streets and provides them with rehabilitation and shelter. And in 2015 the team attended to a heartbreaking situation.
A member of the Dallas DogRRR team had become aware of a homeless dog. It was laying abandoned on the side of the road. The area that the canine was in had had a well-known problem with strays. So, at this point there was nothing unusual about the discovery.
When the volunteer arrived on the scene, she hoped to scoop up the dog and deliver it to safety. The pit bull’s intended destination was the Mercy Animal Clinic. However, its journey there would not be straightforward.
Because, as the good Samaritan went to put the dog into her car, a passerby approached her. They had apparently been monitoring the canine’s situation, and they revealed that the pit bull was not alone. It had a fellow furry friend.
The stranger revealed that the pit bull had been protecting another animal. In fact, the pair were inseparable. As a result, the volunteer halted her rescue and went in search of the other creature.
And it didn’t take long for the animal welfare worker to locate the creature in question. She returned to the spot where she had found the dog, and indeed she found a tiny little kitten. So, she picked it up in the hope of rescuing two animals in one go.
It was only then that the unique nature of the dog and kitten’s relationship became evident. Because, when their rescuer placed them together, the little cat latched onto the pit bull. At that point, it became clear that the dog had been feeding the kitten with her milk.
When the pair arrived at Dr. Rick Hamlin’s Mercy Animal Clinic, their bond left him completely flabbergasted. “Over my 28-year career, I’ve never seen anything like this,” the astonished vet revealed.
Staff at the clinic named the adorable duo Pitty and Kitty. And they soon began to speculate about how they had gotten together in the first place. Hamlin believes they met by chance, and their unique situations somehow complimented one another.
In 2015, the vet told The Dodo, “My best guess is that the mother pit bull had a litter of pups and they died or weaned and she still had milk. And the kitten’s mother, who just had her – well, something must have happened to her, and this kitten was left behind. The pit bull probably found her and took it as her own.”
When Hamlin examined Pitty, he discovered the dog’s milk supply was just about at its end. As a result, their rescue had probably saved Kitty’s life. “If she hadn’t been getting enough milk, she wouldn’t have made it,” Hamlin explained.
Seeing as Pitty was all out of milk, clinic staff would have to bottle feed Kitty, since she was still only a few days old. However, first they would have to convince her surrogate mom to relinquish care of her adopted baby.
The first time a team attempted to feed Kitty, it was clear to see that Pitty was uneasy. Like any concerned mom, she stayed glued to her baby’s side throughout, reassuring her with gentle kisses while she ate.
Newborn kittens nurse every one to two hours. So, Kitty would require around the clock care. As a result, Hamlin decided the best way to treat the animal would be to take her home with him at night. However, to do that, he would have to separate her from Pitty.
Recalling the first night he took the kitten home, Hamlin told ABC News in 2015, “When I took Kitty out of the cage [that she had been sharing with Pitty since they arrived] Pitty started howling. It was the first vocalization she made since she arrived.”
The separation clearly took its toll on Pitty, because when Kitty returned the following morning she couldn’t hide her delight. According to Hamlin, she “cleaned and cleaned and cleaned” her baby. “It was a tremendous reunion,” the vet added.
Given their special bond, clinic staff didn’t want to separate Pitty and Kitty. As a result, they had hoped to adopt the dog and cat out together. But unfortunately, the loveable pair would never get their happy ending.
While still under Hamlin’s care, Kitty’s health took a turn for the worse, and she sadly passed away. Later, the vet discovered that the cat had been suffering from a congenital malformation in her kidneys and bladder. This, he suggested, could have been the reason why her mother had abandoned her.
Thankfully though, Pitty’s fate was much happier. She soon found her forever home and went to live with a ready-made family. Her new brood included plenty of four-legged brothers and sisters. So, after caring for Kitty with all her heart, Pitty now had a new set of loved ones to shower her affections on.