Whether you’re thinking of how great your mom is or just want to see photos of animal’s being awesome, we’ve put together our favorite photos of incredible dog moms. Raising kids is hard enough, but these mom’s put species aside to raise litters like no other.
1. This mom earned her stripes. Teaching an old dog new tricks isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just take this mother at the Hefei Zoo in Hefei, China, for instance. The mother of these tiger cubs couldn’t produce milk, so dog, Tiger Lilly, nursed them from the time they were one day old.
2. Sometimes your house feels like a pigsty and that’s okay. Yeti the dog became a wet nurse to 14 piglets after giving birth to her own litter. Yeti’s pet parent, farmer Mannorkys Santamaria said that the piglets would feed from their mother, but as soon as Yeti showed up, it was straight back to the dog for lunch!
3. Hopping into action. Koa the Labrador acts as a surrogate mother to abandoned baby wild rabbits.
4. There’s no cats vs dog debate in this family. New mother Molly has enough puppies to feed, but she’s happy to pull double duty to help out a litter of kittens whose mother passed away. Molly took turns between her puppies and the new litter of kittens making sure there was plenty to go around.
5. Yes, that is a dog feeding a lamb. Is there anything cuter than a dog holding a bottle for a lamb? We didn’t think so.
6. These little bandits stole mom’s heart. These two raccoons were left to fend for themselves until this amazing mom came along and kept them from being hungry.
7. Other mother’s said she was nuts. Gail Latta said she attempted to feed some abandoned squirrels with canned milk, but it didn’t work. Suddenly, Pixie, her nursing dog, came to the rescue. Apparently, Pixie was a little sad when the squirrels were given to an animal rehabilitation center, but she’s OK now, and ready for her next brood.
8. Motherhood is all fun and games, till the babies learn to talk back. Lisha the Labrador has played surrogate mother to more than 30 animals at the Cango Wildlife Reserve including tigers, porcupines and this pygmy hippo.
9. Being a new mom can feel like panda-monium. A Chihuahua mom nurses two red panda cubs who were abandoned by their mother at a zoo in Taiya, China, but this little lady came to the rescue.
10. The circle of life just got larger. The cute department is on overload with this one. These zoo-lion cubs abandoned their birth mother in China, but were given a second chance by this heroic nursing dog.
11. It’s only natural to fawn over a newborn. A newborn fawn was adopted, and finds a new home with a senior Labrador Retriever after his mother died.
12. One of these is not like the other. Chipmunk Marty is nursed by Imogene Wills’ Buffy the Chihuahua at her home in Salem, Mass. Buffy lost a puppy during a C-section. On the same day Marty was found in a Safeway parking and brought into the clinic where Buffy’s surgery took place. Buffy lost one love, but gained another and Marty is just one of the family.
13. “The Fox and the Hound” is real life. While her Foxhound heritage made her any unlikely candidate for mothering fox pups, with a little convincing, her maternal instincts kicked into overdrive.
Helen Neafsey, Hearst Connecticut Media Group