L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

Category: Animals Helping Animals

Your morning adorable: Pit bull plays with kitten

We're suckers for animals that have a soft spot for babies.

So we were bound to love Karma, a pit bull described as a "bully ambassador" by owner nrc5878. "I am the proudest [pit bull] mom ever," nrc5878 wrote. With a gentle dog like Karma, we can see why!

Karma helps nrc5878 take care of foster animals like this kitten, who seems not to have heard any of the negative press about pit bulls.

Your morning adorable: Patient dog meets duckling
Your morning adorable: Duck babysits a litter of abandoned kittens

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: nrc5878 via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Cat adopts baby rabbit

We were stunned -- in the best possible way -- to learn the story of Snaggle Puss the cat and Bubbles the rabbit.

Bubbles' mother died when she was just a week old, and Snaggle Puss -- mother to a litter of kittens already -- took over the raising of the little rabbit.

We've seen cats show interest in eating rabbits, but apparently everyone -- cats included -- has a soft spot for a baby in need of help.

Your morning adorable: German shepherd foster mom raises cougar cubs in Russian zoo
Your morning adorable: Dachshund adopts tiger cub in German zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: diagonaluk via YouTube

Your morning adorable: German shepherd foster mom raises cougar cubs in Russian zoo

German shepherd dog Cholli raises puma cubs

Staff at the zoo in Samara, Russia, were excited about the birth of three cougar cubs on July 15 -- but they were afraid to leave the cubs with their parents for fear that they could react aggressively and harm the infants.

The cubs were given instead to Cholli, a German shepherd dog with five young puppies of her own and a maternal instinct that just wouldn't quit. Since then, Cholli and her foster "kids" have gotten along swimmingly, and she's fed them and cared for them as if they were her own puppies.

We're always impressed by animals who overlook the differences between species to make sure that youngsters are okay -- whether it's a duck caring for kittens, a dog raising an orphaned monkey or a house cat nursing a litter of bobcats. Oh, animals, we'll never grow tired of marveling at you!

See more photos of Cholli and the cougar cubs after the jump!

Continue reading »

Video goodness: Determined tortoise helps to right a fellow tortoise that flipped onto its back

We're forever in reader Lee B.'s debt for drawing our attention to this amazing demonstration of the goodness of animals.

We couldn't believe our eyes as one tortoise worked to help the other regain its footing. (We're a bit flummoxed as to why the person holding the video camera didn't just help the wrong-side-up tortoise him- or herself, but we're impressed by the video result, nonetheless.)

Helpful Tortoise may just be our new hero -- and Lee B., we owe you a plate of vegan cookies! (Note: We do not actually bake, so they might have to remain virtual vegan cookies. Sorry about that!)

Video goodness: The matchup of the century, a real-life tortoise-vs.-rabbit race
Your morning adorable: Persistent tortoise chases a tomato

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: ZedgarDOS via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Patient duck babysits a litter of abandoned kittens

When animals from different species put aside their differences and become the best of friends, Unleashed will be there. (At least, we'll really try to be there, because we could watch videos depicting such inter-species friendships for days on end, stopping only to eat the occasional snack or take a brief nap before firing up the old computer again.)

We were overjoyed when we saw the video above, in which a (male) duck named Harry is mistaken for mom by a litter of tiny abandoned kittens. (For his part, Harry seems to be overjoyed -- or, at the very least, exceedingly tolerant -- as well.)

Harry is a resident of Lucky Duck Rescue, a bird sanctuary specializing in the care of rescued wild ducks and geese and surrendered bird pets located right here in Southern California. Lucky Duck sounds like a water-loving bird's paradise (or a kitten's, for that matter) to us. At the facility, the birds are kept in pens overnight, but, with the exception of some that are blind or have difficulty walking, they're all free to roam a fenced outdoor area complete with pools, shade trees and feeding stations during the day.

It's a nice enough place that, according to the group, one injured crow that was nursed back to health and released back into the wild years ago continues to roost in trees on the property, despite the fact that he is free to go wherever he pleases.

Your morning adorable: Duck plays on a slide
Your morning adorable: Patient dog meets duckling

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: luckyduckrescue via YouTube

Domestic South Carolina cat nurses orphaned bobcats

A litter of bobcats that were found during the demolition of an abandoned home 
in Newberry County rest and play with two kittens that belong to Zoe

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In just a few months, three baby bobcats found in South Carolina could be a danger to a tabby named Zoe. But these days, the fuzzy felines are just members of the family for the nursing mother. The bobcats, orphaned after the abandoned house they were living under in Newberry County was demolished, are being nursed by Zoe at Carolina Wildlife Care near the Saluda River a few miles northwest of downtown Columbia.

The nursing is expected to last about four weeks and is intended to give the bobcats a feline on which to imprint, said Joanna Weitzel, executive director of the wildlife rescue group. "It's important they get that nurturing and care from a species similar to their own."

After five weeks, though, their razor-sharp teeth and claws could hurt Zoe and Zoe's kittens -- an orange tabby and a calico that now dwarf the three bobcats in their kennel. The bobcats are expected to grow over the coming months to the size of dogs -- about 22 inches tall and average 18 to 22 pounds -- while their adoptive siblings will likely max out around 10 pounds.

Once the bobcats are weaned, they will be put in a specially built habitat. The goal is to minimize their contact with humans.

Continue reading »

Your morning adorable: Patient dog babysits chick

YouTube user tamwaimanr's video has left us at a loss for words; viewing it kind of makes us want to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth slowly, watching it on an endless loop and wishing that some humans we know could take a cue from this gentle dog.

Of course, we're unabashed suckers for animals that look out for other, smaller animals -- be it a dog who sweetly nuzzles a duckling or a cat who flies in the face of tradition by bathing, rather than snacking on, a friendly rat.

If you've experienced a similar incident of love among the species, we'd love to see it! Share your photo in the Four-Legged Friends album at Your Scene, The Times' photo-sharing site. Be sure to include a caption that tells us about the animals you've photographed!

Your morning adorable: Deer licks friendly cat
Your morning adorable: Gentle horse nuzzles cat

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: tamwaimanr via YouTube

Stray cat becomes foster mother for rescued bobcat kittens

Bobcat kittens with their foster mother, Bobbi

TAMPA, Fla. — Three infant bobcats found orphaned in Alabama have been adopted by a house cat in Tampa.

A hunter reportedly found the small cats alone in the woods earlier this month and took them to a veterinarian. Big Cat Rescue in Tampa took in the kittens, whose eyes were still closed when they were found.

Big Cat Rescue staff determined the bobcats were so young that they would need another feline to take care of them. Luckily, the Suncoast Animal League had a stray named Bobbi whose six kittens had just started eating solid food.

When staff members introduced Bobbi to the three bobcats, she almost immediately began to nurse them.

Big Cat Rescue plans to release the bobcats into the wild after 18 months, when they'll be old enough to hunt.

-- Associated Press

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Photo: The bobcat kittens with Bobbi at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., on April 28. Credit: Kate Caldwell / Associated Press

Your morning adorable: Dog adopts lion cub in Hungarian zoo

Zimba, a male lion cub, right, and Bogi, a male Puli dog, are seen at Gyoengyoes zoo

Zimba, a 3-month-old lion cub, is one of the most popular residents at Hungary's Gyoengyoes Zoo, according to the Sun.  Since the cub's arrival (the zoo received him as a gift from a private Italian donor), he's had an unusual companion in the form of Bogi, a 3-year-old male puli.  (We know what you're thinking: Where are Bogi's cords?  While many puli owners -- and owners of a related breed, the komondor -- choose to let their dogs' fur grow naturally into cords, others keep their coats brushed instead. While they look less like a Beck album cover that way, we bet they're easier to dry after a bath!)

Bogi has taken on the role of foster parent for Zimba, who came to the zoo without his mother. Fortunately for Zimba, he has a doting little herding dog to pick up the slack!  See another photo of these two after the jump.

Continue reading »

Your morning adorable: Dog adopts orphaned macaque monkey in Thailand


Monks at the Tung Luang Buddhist temple in Thailand's Chiang Mai province recently began caring for a 3-month-old macaque monkey whose mother was killed by a hunter. 

Helping them with the task of raising the young monkey is Tan, a resident "temple dog" who, Metro U.K. reports, has not only taken the monkey under his wing but even voluntarily shares his food with it!

Your morning adorable: Dachshund adopts tiger cub in German zoo
Your morning adorable: Dog nurses red panda cubs in Chinese zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: European Pressphoto Agency


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