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article imageInjured dog raising five puppies and a kitten Special

By Lynn Curwin     Dec 24, 2010 in World
Edmonton - The story of Esperanza, a homeless and injured Alberta dog who was caring for a kitten along with her own puppies, has touched the hearts of people around the world.
Esperanza was rescued from an Alberta reserve in early December by Criss Gerwing of the “For the Love of Dogs” rescue group, who took her to the Edmonton Humane Society.
“Criss tells us that she was parked in the area where Esperanza was and the dog hobbled over to her car and sat right outside her car door and stared at her,” said Shawna Randolph, communications representative for the Edmonton Humane Society. “She then led Criss to her “family.” “
Everyone was amazed to see that her family consisted of five young pups and an approximately four-month-old kitten.
Esperanza was in pain and was taken to the Capilano Animal Clinic on December 8, where Dr. Milton Ness voluntarily performed surgery.
Shawna explained that the dog’s hind right femur was broken in five places and the veterinarian put a wire and pin in the leg.
Because Jacob was already four months old, and dog milk is not the ideal food for a cat, he was weaned but he still gets to visit his canine family each day.
“Right now, he is a bit annoyed around his puppy siblings, because they are a bit more active than he is,” said Shawna. “ He goes first to Esperanza’s tummy, trying to nurse, and staff members don’t allow him. He then snuggles up to Esperanza and when he’s settled, then he snuggles up to his canine siblings too. His purrs are heard several feet away.”
Jacob goes home with a staff member, who is also a foster parent for shelter animals, at night.
The entire family, including Jacob, will be going to a foster home after Christmas. When the puppies are old enough to be placed up for adoption they will return to the shelter, but the foster family plans to keep Esperanza and Jacob permanently.
Foster parents get first consideration when it comes to adopting animals for which they have been providing care.
The Edmonton Humane Society also has all dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rabbits and ferrets, as well as some guinea pigs, spayed and neutered before they are adopted so that they will not add to the high numbers of unwanted animals.
Shawna describes Esperanza - whose name means hope - as being “very sweet, calm and quiet” and as a fantastic mother, who does like the odd break from nursing her pups.
She said Jacob loves other cats, but thinks that he is a dog. He follows his current foster mom around like a dog and is often cuddling and purring.
“This story has gripped so many hearts, not just among everyone involved, and in the Edmonton community, but around the world too!” added Shawna. “We have had people donate to our organization to help with the costs to care for the family all the way from New York and Texas.
“It is truly an inspiring story of how a mother will put her family first and care for them in terrible times, despite the pain that she was going through.
“It is our story of the year, for sure – especially because of Jacob being nursed and cared for by Esperanza while she was in pain – and it is definitely the ultimate Christmas story!”
Esperanza and Jacob
Esperanza and Jacob
Edmonton Humane Society
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