LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - It's raining cats and dogs at a local animal shelter. Well, kittens and puppies, to be exact. And in one case, the story is so unique that the babies had to be classified as an entirely new breed - "pupkins."
"It started as a joke," says Terri Dunlap, President of the SPCA of Livingston. "We just said, 'let's give it a try' and it worked. I was shocked.'"
The story starts the way most do these days - with a post on Facebook. Dunlap noticed a thread in which a Livingston resident asked for advice about some abandoned kittens she saw on the side of the road. The replies all told her to "go get them," so she did.
"Then once she had them she started asking people what she should do now? And it was crickets," explained Dunlap. "No one responded after that."
That's when Dunlap and her team stepped in to save the day. The days-old kittens were collected and, as to be expected, they were hungry.
"None of our cats were milking," explained Dunlap. "We went into panic mode."
Bottle feeding kittens that young is a "hit or miss" situation. They needed a surrogate nurse and what they found was an unlikely mother to step in and take charge.
"I said, 'what about that pom[eraian]? She only has two babies," Dunlap recalled. "We went and got the two pom babies and rubbed them with the kittens and then gave them back to the mom. She immediately grabbed one of the kittens kind of aggressively, so we got a little worried. Then she flipped them over and started cleaning them, and that was that. She was like, 'it's okay guys, I got it, you can go now.'"
Izzy, the unlikely mother for the little abandoned kittens, has always been a bit unique. She too was rescued after she was found abandoned in a ditch with a broken leg.
"They gathered funds to fix her leg," explained Dunlap. "When they brought her to the vet to fix her leg, they said that she had been spayed."
When the little pom started gaining weight, there was concern that maybe she was sick or had issues. Eventually the truth would pop out...literally.
"All the sudden there were puppies," said Dunlap.
The pups are almost old enough for adoption, so the pupkins will soon gain all the attention from their new mother. Until then, there are two boxes – one for her two puppies and the other for the kittens.
But the pupkins are not the only new residents at the Livingston SPCA. In the same week they also took in a cage full of abandoned kittens as well as a box full of motherless pups.
"It was late at night when we got a call for help," said Dunlap. "They said their dog had just been killed because she was hit by a car and the dog had just had 10 babies. How can you tell somebody no?
The newly-born chocolate lab pups are also in the company of a cage full of kittens that were rescued from the Pet Smart on Juban Road.
"They were dumped there," said Dunlap. "Someone just dropped them off."
It's a full house for the SPCA of Livingston, but thankfully they are creative enough to keep things running smoothly.
For more information about the SPCA of Livingston, click here.