7 animal super moms for a marvelous Mother’s Day

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Fleury the goat nose to nose with two of her kids
From kittens and puppies to baby goats, horses and mice, we’re celebrating all kinds of animal moms this Mother’s Day.
By Sarah Thornton

Being a mom is a lot of work, no matter what the species. There are mouths to feed, faces to wash and important life lessons to be taught (or watch or learn). While pets are spayed or neutered when they come to Best Friends, sometimes moms arrive with their babies, and every now and again there are surprise babies. Either way is a chance  to see some truly magnificent moms in action.

For Mother’s Day coming up on May 8, we’re celebrating not only our human moms but also some of the amazing animal moms we’ve gotten to know this past year. They raised their little and not-so-little ones with care and dedication, and we think they deserve some extra praise (and definitely extra treats) for being such good mommas.

First-time foster volunteers team up for a mama dog and her 14 puppies

Courtesy of Sonali Mitra
Courtesy of Sonali Mitra

Fourteen puppies are a lot to look after, but luckily for Mama Fratelli, she had a lot of help from two first-time foster volunteers. Sonali Mitra and Shelbi Armstrong teamed up to provide Mama with a safe, comfortable place to raise her gaggle of pups — Sonali’s apartment. The women took turns watching over Mama and the puppies to give Mama free run outside the puppy playpen to relax while they took care of babysitting.

After just over a week of puppy-fueled chaos (and cuteness), the little bundles of energy were off to new homes and Mama moved to another foster home to relax and recover from puppy care and heartworm disease. Now she’s in a happy home, too.

Read their full story here.

Once-abandoned mama dog gets new fun, fabulous life on a farm

Courtesy of J Barton

Willow was in rough shape when she arrived at Best Friends in Northwest Arkansas with her six young puppies. She was skinny, her fur was patchy and she tested positive for heartworm. She needed a lot of TLC and got exactly that when she and her puppies moved into a foster home.

While foster volunteer Judy Barton made sure Willow was getting her medicine and all the yummy food and warm sunshine she wanted, Willow was able to focus her attention on her puppies. She was a doting mom who checked on them when they whined, played with them when they wanted and only gently corrected them when they tried to gnaw on her face. None of the family wanted for anything.

When Willow was finally well again and her puppies had been adopted, she found her happily-ever-after with a family all her own.

Read their full story here.

Watching baby goats kid around at Best Friends

Molly Wald

Fleury the goat was found wandering the streets of a small Arizona town, and with winter fast approaching and no family coming forward to claim her, she was brought to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It turned out she wasn’t coming alone, though. The stray goat was pregnant and on Valentine’s Day she gave birth to three healthy, happy kids.

Fleury and her trio were the talk of the canyon and everyone was enamored by the bouncing baby goats. Even the pigs with whom they shared a yard were happy to have the kids climb all over them while Fleury took breaks from playtime.

The family made such an impression that they already have homes lined up, once the kids are weaned. Plus, they won’t be too far from each other after they go home. In fact, they’ll be neighbors.

Read their full story here.

Along came Dolly: Mama dog goes from shelter to home

Courtesy of John and Carly Klanac

When Best Friends in Houston got a request to take in seven puppies from Galveston County Animal Resource Center, they didn’t want to leave momma Dolly behind. She needed some extra veterinary care due to heartworm disease, autoimmune arthritis and flea-related skin issues. She was also reactive to other dogs.

Dolly’s adorable puppies had no problem getting adopted, while mom spent some time unwinding and recovering with a Best Friends foster family. But it wasn’t long before a family came along and fell in love with the sweet momma dog. She was everything they were looking for and they wanted to give her a new, happy life.

Read their full story here.

Momma mouse and her tiny tots

Courtesy of Lauren Ross

When a family noticed that the two momma mice they’d been watching in their garage had fallen into a bucket overnight (and that one of them was looking very weak), they rushed both moms and their nests full of babies to Wild Friends, a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation center located at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Unfortunately, one of the moms did not make it. Wild Friends staff members decided to see if the remaining mouse would care for both litters — a total of 11 babies. They were a bit concerned that the remaining momma wouldn’t be able to handle all 11 or might reject those that weren’t hers. But as it turned out, they had one truly dedicated momma on their hands.

Not only does the mouse mom make sure that all 11 are fed and impeccably groomed, but she is also fiercely protective. She hides the tiny bundles of fur under blankets and tries to fend off caregivers even as they bring her yummy food and treats. Now, her little babies in the mixed nest are almost all weaned and she’s teaching them to forage. As soon as they’re all ready, they’ll be released outdoors in a safe place — off to live their mousey lives.

A most extraordinary mama cat’s love knows no bounds

Courtesy of Annika Harley

Gabi Olmedo and Annika Harley were expecting to take care of a few kittens when they first signed up to be a foster family, but they were in for a surprise. When they heard back about a momma cat nursing six kittens (some her own, some orphaned), they said yes immediately.

Agave was an amazing mom. She cared for her kittens while Gabi and Annika took care of the entire family, even through a severe outbreak of upper respiratory infection. And then the real surprise came: Agave was expecting kittens again after apparently getting pregnant right after giving birth the first time, but before coming to Best Friends. Very quickly, another four kittens joined the foster family.

When it was time to say goodbye, Gabi and Annika, who couldn’t bear parting with two of the kittens, adopted them. The rest of the kittens all found homes quickly, and so did super mom Agave, now spayed, who’s enjoying life as the one being babied.

Read their full story here.

Wild mustang mares and foals make Best Friends their winter rest stop

Molly Wald

Bella, Dahlia, Sunflower and Angel were part of a group of 13 mustangs rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management as part of a plan to move them to a mustang sanctuary in California. But soon after arriving at a stopover spot in Colorado, the four mares gave birth to their own little herd of adorable foals.

The remaining trip to the California sanctuary was just a bit too much for the spindly legged newborns. So instead, a decision was made for the mommas and foals to spend the winter at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where they could run and play as they grew up and get strong enough to continue the trip.

The herd of eight got its own large pasture in Angel Canyon and took full advantage of it, galloping and rolling in the long, thick grass to their hearts’ content.

Read their full story here.

Celebrate and help animal moms all year round

By joining Best Friends, you’ll help even more animal moms and their tiny families have the happy endings they deserve.

Join Best Friends today

Read more:

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