Heartwarming Video: Rescue Dog Fosters Dozens of Kittens

Zuca was a pregnant stray when she was taken in by an animal welfare agency in Oregon.  All her puppies were adopted, and eventually so was Zuca.  This sweet pup became best friends with a cat named Stout in her new forever home.

Sadly, Stout passed away and Zuca was depressed…until her human mom Ronda started taking in foster kittens!  Zuca has been lovingly caring for nearly 100 foster kittens since 2015.

Her mom reports that she gets excited whenever new kittens arrive, and she immediately starts licking them and cuddling with them, knowing instinctively exactly what kind of care each one needs.

This upcoming kitten season, Zuca (now 12 years old but still going strong) and her mom hope to foster at least 20 more babies, bringing their total to over 100.

An added bonus to all this great mothering from Zuca…. all of her foster babies are very comfortable around dogs and do well in adoptive homes with canine siblings!

Check out this adorable video of Zuca in action with her foster kittens, and follow Zuca and her kittens on this irresistible Instagram account!

 

Images via Love Meow.

 

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If It’s February, It Must Be Pet Dental Health Month!

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and the perfect time to get in the habit of brushing your pet’s teeth (if you don’t already), and scheduling a dental appointment with your veterinarian.

Just like your own dental health, your pet’s dental health is important too.  Tooth decay and gum disease can cause your dog or cat discomfort and other serious health problems if an infection in the mouth spreads.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has a webpage devoted to Pet Dental Health Month, with lots of useful resources for pet parents.

To get you started, they have posted this pet tooth brushing how-to video on YouTube.  Happy brushing!

 

“Mission Adoptable” Videos Spread the Word About Senior Pet Adoption

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, a great time for animal welfare organizations to raise awareness about adopting homeless dogs and cats that are 7 years of age and older.

As part of this awareness campaign, Animal Planet has created a series of heartwarming videos about special pet adoption stories called “Mission Adoptable.”  Be sure to check out their website for all the adorable videos.  Here are just a couple of our favorites!

Diamond’s Story:

 

Matti Jo Jo and Beau Beau Jones’s Story:

 

Scientists Study Wolf Puppies to Learn About the Domestication of Dogs

Experts agree that dogs evolved from a now-extinct species of wolf over 15,000 years ago.  The move from wild predator to human companion began with a practical realization on the part of a few of those wolves…that if they overcame their fear and hung around our settlements they’d get an easy meal of leftover food scraps.

But how did the first wolves understand that living near people would be beneficial to them?  And how did they pass that knowledge on to subsequent generations?  An intensive study of modern wolf puppy behavior is providing scientists with evidence on the keys to domestication.

An in-depth article and accompanying video in The New York Times about a wolf puppy study taking place in Canada describes some important clues to how wolves became dogs.

Researchers working with wolf pups discovered that if the pups experience close human contact when very young, they can overcome their natural fear response, which kicks in as they mature.  There is a critical period in a wolf puppy’s development that determines if a pup is afraid or curious when exposed to new things.

The researchers are studying the puppies’ DNA as well as their behavior to better understand the genetic basis for the development of anxiety vs. sociability in wolves.  The research could ultimately lead to a greater understanding of dog (and human) development as well.

Check out the informative — and adorable! — video here:

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005162472

 

Video: Family Dog Found Safe After Being Lost in California Wildfire

There have been so many sad stories of loss coming out of the areas of California currently experiencing devastating wildfires.  The owners of a Bernese Mountain Dog named Izzy expected the worst when they hiked through their neighborhood, destroyed by fire, searching for the body of their dog after she went missing in the firestorm.

They got to their family property, expecting a grim discovery, but still called for Izzy.  To their surprise, Izzy came running towards them, out of the still-smoldering rubble.  Watch the heartwarming video here: