SUNNYVALE (CBSDFW.COM) - An unlikely family was found abandoned in front of the Terrell Animal Shelter, which was closed for the Fourth of July holiday.
Someone tied a black Chihuahua mix to a pole in front of the shelter and left a box next to her.
"I looked and saw two little balls of fur with her and I thought it was a couple puppies," said Officer Steven Johns, who saw the dog and took the three animals to the shelter and gave them food and water.
"I went to move them into a cage and moved the mama dog out of the way; much to my surprise mama dog is nursing two kittens instead of two puppies," he said.
The mama dog kept a close eye on the officer as he moved her adopted babies, who were days-old kittens. The unusual family caught the eye of Deborah Franklin, a foster mom with Paws Patrol Animal Rescue.
"She'd want to come to you and she'd look at the babies and it's like, 'I can't leave them,' and I thought, 'Now, listen, that little dog deserves a good home,'" she said.
The dog and her 12-day-old orphaned kittens are settling into Franklin's home where mama dog keeps a close eye on her little ones, responding to their cries, cleaning them and even nursing them.
"She didn't care what species it was. All she knew, she was a mother and these were babies and they needed her," said Franklin.
Had Officer Johns not stopped, the unusual furry family may have stayed in the heat, without food or water for days, until Monday when the shelter re-opened.
Franklin plans to name the male kitten "Stevie" in honor the officer who likely saved the trio's lives.
All three are being nursed back to health as they await permanent homes. Franklin said she hopes more people will consider adopting rescues.
"It's almost like they realize that you saved their life," she said. If you are interested in adopting any of the three, click here for the Paws Patrol website or call 214-580-0103.
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