Pit Bull Plays Mother to Set of Kittens

Massachusetts dog nurtures three foster cats that were taken in by owners family.

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Cats and DogsA 3-year-old Pit Bull assumed the role of mother for three orphaned kittens in the town of Stoughton, Mass., about 20 minutes outside of Boston.

Ramona the dog was adopted from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Adoption Center by Emma Riley a few years ago. Three weeks ago, Riley added three kittens to her household.

The tiny kittens were found as strays in a Boston parking lot. They were turned over to the MSPCA, and Riley is fostering them until they are old enough to be placed into the adoption program and permanent homes can be found.

Since the arrival of the kittens, Ramona has taken them under her wing as if they were her own. She cleans them, snuggles with them in their crate, plays with them, watches over them while they sleep and even showers them with affection, Riley said.

This came as a surprise to Riley, because when she's temporarily housed kittens before, she said Ramona would always keep her distance.

She's usually shy around kittens, though she's great with other animals and people. After she realized the three kittens weren't feral, she adopted them. They're very affectionate toward Ramona. They think she's their mother, Riley said.

Ramona doesn't fit the stereotype of Pit Bulls being vicious animals, Riley said.

She's very sweet, very smart, Riley said.

Ramona only has another two weeks left with the kittens, however. After they turn eight weeks old, they'll be given up for adoption.

I think she's going to miss them, Riley said.

But even after the kittens leave, Ramona won't be the only pet in the home: Theres also a 5-year-old male Golden Retriever in the household, so its probable that Ramona won't get too lonely.

Posted: April 29, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST

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