Esperanza’s mothering instinct didn’t go to waste, though, because the shelter had also just received a litter of three tiny kittens.
The baby cats were in danger of dying because they didn’t have a mom to nurse and care for them. That’s when shelter staff realized they could introduce the kittens to Esperanza.
As soon as Esperanza saw the kittens, she immediately knew they needed her. She started nursing them right away and acted as their adoptive mother.
Even though her new babies weren’t the same species, it was clear that it didn’t matter to Esperanza — she loved her kitten babies just as much as she would have loved the puppies she lost.
After Esperanza and the kittens were united, they were taken in by Coco’s Animal Welfare.
While Esperanza was busy being the kittens’ new mama, she didn’t realize that someone else was preparing to become her mama.
Evi Pover was on vacation with her son in Playa Del Carmen when they decided to go to Coco’s Animal Welfare.
Evi and her son were just planning on going to pet some kittens, but they ended up doing much more than that.
Evi explains, “As we were leaving, they asked if we’d like to see a dog who was nursing a litter of kittens. There was an instant bond between Esperanza and my son, so we decided to adopt her.”
Evi made arrangements to bring Esperanza home, but she made sure that Esperanza could finish raising the kittens first.
Evi explained that her son chose the name Esperanza for the dog because it means “hope” in Spanish. As she explained, he chose it because Esperanza gave hope to the kittens.
Two weeks after they initially met, Esperanza was flown to New York City, where she met up with her new family.
Although she was nervous, she was ready to be loved by her new people.
According to The Dodo
, Esperanza had no idea how to be a dog when she first arrived at Evi’s home.
Evi explained, “When she first came to us, she did not know what dog food or toys were. We had to teach her. Now she hoards her toys and loves to play.”
Esperanza loves her new family, especially her brother, Dan, who immediately fell in love with her.
After taking such wonderful care of her adopted kittens, it’s only fair that Esperanza has such a wonderful family to care for her now.
Esperanza loves to sleep in the humans’ beds and enjoys cuddling with her brother.
To fully round out this happy story, the kittens Esperanza cared for at the shelter have all been adopted!
Have you ever seen a dog nursing kittens before?
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This article originally appeared on littlethings.com.