When Noland, a Terrier/Pit Bull mix, was brought to the Cleveland APL (CAPL) by one of our Humane Investigators, he was just a day old. She found him all alone on a garage floor–his mother was nowhere to be found. As a one-day-old orphan, his survival was of great concern.
Our wonderful CAPL veterinary and animal care teams decided the best option would be to try placing Noland with a stray mom cat named Lurlene who had a one-day-old litter of nursing kittens. Remarkably, Lurlene welcomed Noland into her family, nurturing and nursing him as if he was one of her own. And the kittens were fine with him, too!
When Noland’s mom Molly was located and rescued, she was so malnourished and terrified that she just wasn’t able to care for him. So, Noland stayed with his “new” family. For the next few weeks, they were all together at the CAPL during the day, and at night, Noland would go home with a foster family to be bottle-fed. Noland and the kittens grew and thrived. When it was clear to us that he was going to be okay, we sent them to the home of another foster family to get big and old enough to come back to the CAPL for their spay/neuter surgeries and to be adopted.
We were a little concerned that Noland would get to be too big and rough for his less robust feline family, but Lurlene had things under control and it didn’t take the kittens long to learn how to put him in his place. Actually, Noland blended in with the family so well, he was even found using the litter box a few times!
We then decided it would be good for him to go to one last foster home where he could learn to be a dog with a litter of puppies his age! Finally, it was time to start finding everyone their new homes. Lurlene and the kittens were the first to come back and get adopted. Lurlene had no idea what a star she had become!
When Noland finally came back to the CAPL, we reunited him with his mom Molly for a play date, and what a wonderful sight that was! Noland had certainly thrived with Lurlene, his feline siblings, and foster families as he was nearly 18 pounds when he went home with his new family. And Molly, who required a much longer rehabilitation as she was in such poor condition when she came in and was so shy and unsocialized, became a staff and volunteer favorite. But now, she’s home too, and loving her new human family and canine sibling.
Truly, Noland and Lurlene’s story encompasses everything we do at the CAPL…protecting animals from cruelty and neglect, staff members and volunteers working together to nurse them back to health, loving them, finding them wonderful new homes, and learning from them about the power of forgiveness and unconditional love and acceptance. And when you get right down to it, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?