A dog in Brazil has adopted a very unusual litter of orphaned babies, caring for them as if they were her own. But her new family aren't canines.
By, 8 Mar 2020
Stephanie Maldonado is an animal trainer in Brazil who lives with her dog Pretinha.
When her uncle's dog attacked and killed an opossum, Stephanie was shocked to discover that the opossum left behind a litter of orphaned babies.
Opossums are small marsupials and their babies tend to live in their mother's pouch for 70 to 125 days after birth.
Worried that the baby opossums wouldn't survive without their mother, Stephanie decided to care for the babies herself. But she wouldn't be doing it alone.
When Stephanie introduced her beloved dog Pretinha to the baby opossums, it was love at first sight. Pretinha wasn't bothered at all that they weren't pups, she just knew they needed her help. The big-hearted dog immediately took on the role of canine opossum mother.
Just like any new mum, Pretinha stayed up all night with her new babies, keeping them warm and comforted.
If she could have fed them, she probably would have, but that task was left to Stephanie who fed the babies by hand with special milk.
Pretinha would even carry around the little babies and as they got older and a little more daring, she'd let them practice climbing up on to her back, just like any good opossum mum would.
See for yourself:
Esse é o video da minha cachorrinha Pretinha cuidando dos seus filhotes emprestados rsrs gambázinhos muito amor envolvido!!Posted by Stephanie Maldonado Adestramento de Cães on Monday, January 18, 2016