A pregnant dog — suffering from gunshot wounds and wandering the streets of Atlanta, Ga. — has been rescued by a local shelter. Her puppies, however, didn’t make it.
Now, the shelter is trying to lift the animal’s spirits by replacing the lost puppies with stuffed animals, as she recovers from her ordeal.
The shelter that rescued her says she was likely carrying her dead puppies for days until they found her and performed surgery to safely remove them.
“By the time we got her, we found some terrible things. Her teeth were filed down, she had clearly been overbred, and she was pregnant,” foster caregiver Caroline Claffey said.
The Cherokee County Humane Society named the dog Kiah, which means “new beginning.”
In the video posted by foster parent Claffey, Kiah can be seen cuddling her stuffed animals, as she curls up in her bed. Claffey says the toys make her feel better, but “her spirits are still low.”
Claffey says the dog’s favourite toy vibrates and hums lullabies. “The vibration makes it feel more real to her.”
In a Facebook update posted on Jan. 9, Claffey says Kiah is healthy overall but tested positive for heartworms. “Her incision is clean and her mastitis is clearing up, but she still won’t eat or drink much without my intervention.”
She hopes the stuffed animals will help her find a little bit of solace until she makes a full recovery.