Claim: Photographs show Finnegan, a squirrel adopted into a litter of puppies.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2005]
isn’t at all unusual for an orphaned infant of one species to be accepted by a litter of a completely different species. Dogs, cats, and squirrels are among a variety of mammals whose females will often raise another’s offspring when it is introduced into their own
Such was the case with Finnegan the squirrel, who was found injured and malnourished in the Seattle area in
What happened next was a bit unexpected. Ms. Cantlon reported that her black and white Papillon dog, Mademoiselle Giselle, who was pregnant at the time, twice dragged the kennel in which Finnegan was being cared for across the house and deposited it next to her own doggie bed:
“She would go and take the kennel and drag it through the dining room, through the kitchen and the hallway and park it next to her bed. I didn’t know if she wanted to the squirrel to eat it or to nurse it.”
After Mademoiselle Giselle gave birth to her pups but continued to pay as much (or more) attention to Finnegan than to her own litter,
“I just gave her the squirrel and she was just ecstatic. She was all over him — lick, lick, lick, lick, lick. Instinct is a wonderful thing. It sort of takes over and tells you what to do.”
Ms. Cantlon said that once Finnegan learned how to forage for food on his own she planned to release him back into the wild.
Last updated: 1 November 2005
Hahn, Elisa. “Dog Plays Mama to Injured Baby Squirrel.” NWCN.com. 12 October 2005. Associated Press. “Mama Dog Nurses Orphaned Baby Squirrel.” MSNBC.com. 13 October 2005.