A stray dog has become a worldwide internet sensation after she was discovered protecting and cuddling a litter of tiny kittens on a cold, snowy roadside in Ontario. The unlikely group, who were found at the side of a country road in Chatham, have since been given a warm, safe place to stay, and the internet has subsequently fallen in love with Ontario’s stray pup and her little-kitten friends.
10 days ago, when snow was falling in Ontario and temperatures were below freezing, a driver discovered a fluffy pile on the side of the road.
When she untangled the group, what she found was five tiny kittens, protected and kept warm by an older stray dog.
The furry friends were taken to Chatham’s Pet and Wildlife Rescue Centre, where their heartbreaking, yet heartwarming, story was shared with the charity’s Facebook followers.
Since then, the story of this unlikely friendship has travelled the world, and stray dog “Serenity” has become one of the most-loved puppers in Ontario.
While no owner has come forward to claim Serenity just yet, the shelter has confirmed that they've already received hundreds of messages offering her a forever-home.
"We have people e-mailing us from Texas, California, Europe, Australia," they added.
In a post on Facebook, the charity explained, "I'm surprised that so many people applied to adopt [Serenity] when they don't even know [her] personality or quirks yet - [She] must just be THAT cute!"
The animals were reportedly in pretty-bad condition when they arrived at the shelter earlier this month.
They were all underweight and flea-infested, and the kittens were covered in parasites.
Pet and Wildlife Rescue's Myriam Armstrong told CBC News that the friendship between the stray pup and the tiny kittens was "very, very, very unusual."
"Either she found them and nested with them, or they found her and decided she was a great source of heat."
While Chatham’s Pet and Wildlife Rescue staff are thrilled that Serenity is getting so much attention, they're reminding potential-adopters that there are thousands of other dogs like Serenity who are also in need of a loving-home.
In a post on Tuesday, the shelter explained, "While we have everybody’s attention because of Serenity’s story, we want to take this time to bring awareness to the many other shelter and rescue dogs ... who are also waiting for their forever homes."
"We have received enough applications for Serenity to make our heads spin, but only 1 application can be chosen."
"We would like to urge everybody who is thinking about adding a furry friend to their family to consider adopting a shelter or rescue dog, who is equally deserving of a forever home as Serenity is," they added.
The kittens are currently in foster care while they are receiving medical attention and plenty of cuddles.
The charity hopes that brave and cuddly Serenity will be rehomed within the next few weeks.
To view all of the adoptable animals at Chatham’s Pet and Wildlife Rescue, you can click here.