When a litter of newborn kittens came into a local animal shelter one dog decided they also needed a little extra love and care.
Joy the toy Maltese instantly became a surrogate mother for the kittens. But then Joy was adopted.
The kittens met Joy at the Iosco County Animal Shelter.
"The fact that she was nursing kitties. We knew that she was just a little lover," said Kim Payne, Joy's owner.
Payne said the love Joy had for the kittens made her an obvious choice for Payne's family.
"Our comment was, 'She's so ugly she's cute,'" Payne said.
Linda Friedgen, manager at the shelter, said the kittens were abandoned and did not know affection before Joy.
"They're thriving now. So she did a good job for us," Friedgen said.
Payne brought Joy back to the shelter on Friday for a reunion with her surrogate children. It was the first time since Joy was adopted.
It will be about four weeks before the kittens are ready for adoption, but Payne said she didn't know if she would adopt the kittens.
"We had actually thought about getting a baby kitty so she would probably be in her glory," Payne said.
Payne said she is glad the match made in dog heaven happened at a shelter.
"I hope that people will see this and they will help their local shelters. It is very needed," Payne said.
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