Rescuers Hatch Desperate Plan To Save Abandoned Newborn Puppy Before Time Runs Out

Recently, when rescuers found a newborn pit bull puppy named Noland alone on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, they knew his chances of survival were slim to none. Without a mother to protect him and provide nutrient-rich milk, he wouldn’t be able to survive.
He was taken to the Cleveland Animal Protection League (CAPL), where staffers were shocked. It seemed like the little guy had one paw in an early grave. He was just a day old and he hadn’t even opened his eyes yet. Truly, he was helpless on his own.

Cleveland APL’s director of operations, Ayse Dunlap, relayed the grim prognosis to Cleveland’s Fox 8 News: “[He] needed some kind of immediate intervention if he was going to survive.” But how could they help him?
Like any animal his age, Noland needed around-the-clock care, and the Cleveland APL just didn’t have the capacity to do that on their own. Without any mother pit bulls nearby to take Noland under her paw, he was in big trouble.

That’s when Cleveland APL’s CEO, Sharon Harvey, had an idea. It fell in the “just crazy enough to work” category, but with a pit bull puppy in dire need of nourishment and support, she was willing to try just about anything…
There might not have been any mother pit bulls at the Cleveland APL, but there was another animal mother in-residence. She had just given birth to a litter of her own and was in the process of nursing. Perhaps she could serve as a stand-in mom?
There was, however, a bit of a complication: the mother in question, Lurlene, was a cat! Still, she was producing milk, which was exactly the kind of nourishment that Noland needed. Plus, she was full of motherly love. Could she learn to accept another baby, even if he was a dog?

The caretakers at the Cleveland APL decided that it was worth a shot. Noland didn’t have many other options. So, they introduced the tiny puppy to Lurlene and waited with bated breath to see how she’d react…
“We just held the puppy up to her,” Ayse recalled. “[Lurlene] started sniffing and immediately nuzzling and licking and just accepted the puppy as one of her own immediately. It was remarkable to witness it.”
The staff was amazed to see how Lurlene accepted Noland so quickly. “It’s adorable, right?” Ayse said. “You just can’t beat it… they don’t know that one is different from the other. They’re one happy, little family.”

Noland fit right in alongside Lurlene’s kittens, Espa, Rivette, Zixi, and Tallysdab. Still, as Sharon pointed out, the pup wasn’t “out of the woods yet.” Lurlene helped keep Noland going, but he needed some professional assistance if he wanted to make it out of infancy.
“We need to be diligent with his care,” Sharon explained to Fox Cleveland. “Noland is going to be with us for quite awhile. We need to be really sure with him. We’ve got to focus on giving him the care he needs right now.” And that care was extensive.
Despite spending nearly nine hours per day under the attentive watch of Lurlene, Noland needed more from his human caretakers at the Cleveland APL. The mama cat did her best, but he needed even more milk!
When Noland wasn’t suckling from his feline mother, he was hungrily drinking from a bottle. This wasn’t some once-per-day task, either. Noland ate with the same ferocity of a half-starved buffet attendant!

“He probably gets fed seven to eight times [per day]—if not more,” one volunteer estimated. Talk about a hungry boy! But even when Noland was out of Lurlene’s care, the mama cat didn’t forget about her adopted son!
Lurlene would even gently place a paw on the back of the milk-guzzling pup. “Lurlene loves him,” Sharon said. “It’s so adorable.” If nothing else, though, this love between a cat and her pit bull baby taught the community an important lesson…
“This is not a common thing,” Sharon pointed out, “to be able to find a mother cat to take on another species.” In those cases, a puppy like Noland might never have stood a chance. Because of this, Sharon was quick to use this opportunity to make a plea to the public.
“We desperately need foster volunteers,” Sharon said, “who are willing to take these animals into their homes temporarily and give them this second chance.” Usually, puppies aren’t as lucky as Noland, and just about any shelter could use a hand caring for newborns.

Still, you can’t help but feel warmth in your heart watching Lurlene care for Noland. Perhaps Sharon said it best: “We are just so happy that a cat named Lurlene, who has no idea how special she is, has made a lot of people smile—including us!”

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