Dog-Mommy Chihuahua Nurses Area Kittens

Penny and her kitten "puppies" (image via: Cat's Cradle)
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- "You've heard it said that blood is thicker than water, well love is thicker than blood," that's how dog owners Dale Fulk and Jeffery Mullins describe the relationship between their Chihuahua, Penny, and her five new baby kittens.

But this unique friendship started with tragedy. Sunday night, Penny gave birth to a stillborn puppy who didn't make it. Fulk said, "She pretty much cried all night and needed to stay with somebody and you could see the tears, literally she had tears coming down her eyes."

Mullins said, "To see her mourning, it was, it was really a mourning for her baby that wasn't going to come back."

The next morning the men called everyone they could, looking for a new baby for Penny to care for. Cat's Cradle in Harrisonburg said they had a litter of kittens that need a mother. "So I thought, 'Why not?" Stranger things have happened'," said Mullins.

And when they brought them home, it was an instant match. Now, instead of just having one baby, Penny has five. Mullins said, "It gave her what she was looking for; it was almost immediate that she turned around 100 percent."

Matt Chan with Cat's Cradle says he has never seen anything like it.

"It's gratifying to see, because it shows that you know humans aren't the only ones with compassion. Other animals have it. Dogs have it. Cats have it." Mullins says mama and her kittens are inseparable.

Mullins said, "There's no boundaries on love." Now they hope some loving families in the Valley will take in the kittens once they're ready to be adopted. In about two month's time these kittens will need a permanent home.