When Anderson County, South Carolina animal control officer Michelle Smith got a call about a barking dog in a ravine, she anticipated a routine rescue. As she made her way down the embankment, she was a bit surprised: a dog should have been able to climb out without much trouble. What she found at the bottom of the ravine was a Shih Tzu that was protecting a tiny kitten. Officer Smith thinks the dog could have gotten out by herself, but not while carrying the kitten. Rather than abandon the little feline, the dog barked for help. As Smith put it, “This is one example of why I love my job.”
Not only was the dog protecting the kitten, but she was taking care of it like it was her own puppy, keeping it warm, licking it clean, and even nursing it! So when the unlikely duo were brought to the animal shelter, the staff decided to keep them together. The kitten had provoked a “pseudo pregnancy” in the dog, causing her to lactate. While the milk did help keep the kitten alive, the staff at the shelter also had to bottle feed the hungry little feline.
Goldie and Kate, named for Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, spent several months at the shelter and became celebrities of a sort, making a big splash on local TV, then national TV, the internet, and social media. People from all over the country and even overseas expressed interest in adopting them. One family in particualar wrote “a tear jerker of a letter” in which they discussed a dog and cat they once had and how this dog and cat reminded them of their old pets. And thus Goldie and Kate found their forever home. “Goldie adopted Kate, and we adopted both of them.”
We’ve posted a video about this heartwarming story below. We’d love to hear from you in the Facebook comments and be sure to like and share!