A South Carolina police officer got a pleasant surprise while attempting to rescue a dog from a ravine on Monday. It turned out that the dog was actually calling for help on behalf of the small kitten it was protecting.
The pair was discovered near Anderson, S.C.'s North Pointe Creek after a local reported hearing a dog barking from the area, according to Fox Carolina. Officer Michelle Smith reported to the creek and found the dog nursing the kitten at the bottom of the ravine.
Smith told Fox that the dog had likely only stayed in the ravine to care for the kitten.
"I'm thinking that it just couldn't get back up with the kitten, and I don't think it was willing to leave the kitten," Smith said.
Both the animals were taken to the Anderson County P.A.W.S. where they are waiting for the dog's owner to arrive.
Dogs often play the role of mom for babies that are not their own. Another dog also experienced a 'pseudo-pregnancy' in order to produce milk for a 2-inch-long stray kitten discovered in the family barn.
Last year, a California chihuahua named Harmony cared for two kittens who were adopted just before they were going to be put down. She took them in as her own and nursed them back to health.