Rescue Labrador Retriever Adopts Orphaned Kittens: He's 'Incredibly Patient and Nurturing'
A rescue dog is paid it forward by looking after a litter of orphaned kittens.
According to a release from the U.K. animal rescue charity Battersea, Bertie, a one-year-old Labrador retriever, is helped the Battersea shelter that found him a forever home raise a group of kittens.
Bertie started looking after the seven kittens several weeks ago, shortly after the two-week-old litter was found on the side of the road with no mother in sight. The kittens were rushed to Battersea for an emergency veterinary exam, where vets determined the tiny felines were hungry but in overall good health.
Bertie's mom and Battersea head nurse Rachel volunteered to take the kittens home and look after the animals with her Lab until the baby cats were ready for adoption.
"These kittens have certainly been a handful, from the early days when they needed bottle feeding round the clock, to when they first discovered the joys of climbing. Not only has Bertie helped the kittens become confident, sociable little cats, he's also kept me entertained," Rachel said in a statement about the care the kittens required.
"As a former Battersea resident himself, there's something particularly touching about seeing a rescue pet now helping to rescue other animals in need. I'm incredibly proud of Bertie for the way he has cared for the kittens over the last few weeks. At less than two years old, he's barely an adult himself, but you wouldn't think it when you see how incredibly patient and nurturing he has been," she added.
Rachel and Bertie cared for the kittens until they could eat and use the litter box without assistance. Once the kittens were a bit more independent, the baby animals moved back to a Battersea shelter and found were adopted out to loving families.
"Hand rearing kittens is such a wonderfully rewarding experience; you get to help them grow from tiny defenseless babies into unique characters ready for a loving home. I was sad to see them go, but I can take comfort in knowing that Bertie and I helped give them the best start in life. I suspect Bertie may also have been enjoying the peace and quiet once his young charges had gone. He'd certainly earned it!" Rachel said of the future.