A rescue dog became a surrogate mom to orphaned kittens after she said goodbyes to her best feline friend. Over the past three years, she’s mothered close to 100 kittens!
Meet Zuca the dog and her foster babies!
Zuca was found roaming the streets with a pregnant belly. She was taken in by Animal Control and had her puppies in a foster home.
“She was such a good mom that she served as a surrogate for a few others as well,” Ronda, an Oregon based animal rescuer/foster carer, told.
After the puppies were weaned, they all went to their forever homes, but Zuca had a hard time finding hers. Five months later, Ronda came across Zuca’s photo on an adoption site and was instantly in love.
“I remember seeing her for the first time: all the other dogs were going crazy in their kennels, but she just sat quietly, wagging her tail the tiniest bit. I started crying when I saw her; I just knew,” Ronda told.
It took Zuca some time to adjust to her new life, but one thing she never had trouble with – Ronda’s cats. She immediately took a liking to her feline friends, and one of them became her best buddy – Stout.
“Stout was Zuca’s cuddlebug until the day she passed away. Zuca was really depressed so we thought about fostering again,” Ronda told.
A tiny singleton named Monkey needed a mom. When Zuca met the kitten, she immediately took to her as her own. Monkey became Zuca’s first foster baby.
“I was concerned at first about having a 50lb pitbull mix with a tiny one pound kitten who was trying to nurse, so I made sure everyone was safe, but Zuca was so patient and gentle with her,” Ronda told.
“She puts up with so much! She lets kittens crawl all over her, bite her, scratch her, jump on her face, you name it. In exchange all she asks is to clean their face off after dinner.”
Every time Zuca sees her owner walking in the door with a crate of foster babies, she gets excited and her motherly instinct kicks in.
Zuca has her way to communicate with the kittens, and she can read their signals.
“The thing I find most interesting about Zuca is that she seems to know exactly what each kitten needs when they need it. She can read them.
“She knows how to lay perfectly still and avoid eye contact for the feral kittens while approaching and going in for the kiss with the super social kittens. It’s amazing.”
Together they have fostered almost 100 kittens and hope to care for another 20+ this season.
“If kittens are recently separated from their mom, it’s great to have something big, warm and fuzzy to cuddle up with,” Ronda told.
Zuca gives these orphaned kittens the motherly love they need to thrive.
At 12 years old, Zuca continues to love and nurture little ones in need.
“Having Zuca around makes the kittens more adoptable to people who have dogs. Many of my adopters have told me they chose my foster specifically because they saw how the kitten related to Zuca, and they wanted that in their home.”