Betty Boop, a small stray Chihuahua mix is being hailed as a supermom by rescuers because she ended up nursing and raising ten puppies, eight of which were not her own.
Betty Boop and her puppy charges have been under the foster care of Karen Anderson the past few months as part of the Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) foster care program.
"It was amazing and I got to witness it every step of the way. She was awesome. She took care of them like her own. She cleaned each one of them," Anderson said. "She was amazing to watch and tirelessly took care of them."
Betty Boop first came to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter in early February, just before giving birth to two healthy male pups.
Her arrival at the shelter turned out to be very lucky for several other newborn puppies. On the same day Betty gave birth, a Shih Tzu was brought to the county shelter with serious birthing complications. The puppies were saved but their mother died.
Shelter staff decided to see if the new Chihuahua mom might feed the Shih Tzu babies along with her two newborns. She accepted them right away, feeding and nurturing them. The new family was soon rescued from the shelter by AAWL & SPCA and brought to their no-kill facility.
The same week Betty and her puppies arrived a single, newborn puppy was dropped off at their facility. Staff wondered if Betty would accept the new puppy who needed urgent attention to survive. They needn't have worried. Betty Boop instantly accepted and cared for him, making her brood an even ten.
Within weeks, some of the puppies were bigger than she was, but that didn't stop her from being their mom.
The staff of the AAWL & SPCA soon nicknamed Betty "supermom".
"This little dog has an exceptionally strong mothering instinct, accepting, nurturing and protecting all of the puppies in her care," says Vicky Eckerdt, Director of Veterinary Operations at AAWL & SPCA.
Betty Boop and the puppies were soon placed in Karen Anderson's home, where they could be raised together. Healthy and happy the puppies have all been adopted to loving homes, which left Bett Boop herself. Happily, Karen decided to keep Betty herself. It's only fitting that the small dog who was such a good mother got a mom of her own.
It seems Betty's mothering instincts are hard to shake, as she's currently helping Karen take care of some foster kittens at home. Anderson said that when Betty hears the kittens crying and meowing, Betty Boop is right there to see what is happening.