Staff discovered that the poor little pup had an injured leg and was in desperate need of help. The shelter transferred the little dog to the Oaks Veterinary Urgent Care centre, where vets discovered the pup needed surgery on his leg and antibiotics to prevent infections.
Around the clock care
Being a tiny newborn pup who was also recovering from major surgery, Charlie needed around the clock care. Jenifer Hurt volunteered to take on the challenge of caring for Charlie, with the support of vets Dr Rachel Wallace and Dr Carin Ferdowsian.
Jenifer usually looks after newborn kittens, but it was the first time she had cared for such a young pup. Jenifer fed Charlie every three hours, even through the night. She also made sure he had his antibiotics and the pain relief medication that he needed.
Gradually the little pup started to perk up.
Feline foster mum
But it was meeting his new feline surrogate mother that made the big difference to Charlie's recovery.
When a mother cat and her six newborn kittens were brought into the rescue centre, staff wanted to see if the cat mum would accept Charlie as her foster baby.
Shelter staff were delighted at what happened next.
As soon as the little pup was introduced to the mother cat, she immediately began to lick him and cuddled him into her with her kittens.
The rescue cat instantly took on the mother role to Charlie, showing him lots of love and affection. While she cannot give him enough milk, Jenifer is helping by supplementing his diet with bottle feeds so the pup gets enough of the nutrients he needs to grow and thrive.
She washes his face and snuggles him into her, just as she does with her kittens.
What a wonderful surrogate mum!