A rescue dog who had her leg amputated after being battered by children has become a surrogate mum to a litter of kittens.
Meg, a cross-breed rescued by Rochdale’s RSPCA centre as a puppy back in 2008, turned doggy detective when she helped staff to find five young cats in the ceiling of the animal centre on Redcross Street.
Jean Spencer, centre manager, who adopted Meg after the ordeal, often takes the dog to work with her.
Late last Wednesday evening, Jean noticed Meg was looking up at the animal centre roof and whimpering as if to indicate something was amiss.
Knowing Meg was trying to tell her something, Jean started to investigate, and several hours later, after she and helpers made a huge hole in the building’s plasterboard ceiling, the five kittens were located and brought to safety.
“It was a really unusual rescue,” said Jean, 51. “I know Meg and she was obviously worried about something in the ceiling so I thought I’d better have a look and it was a good thing I did.
“There was only a space in the ceiling cavity of about eight inches, so we had to make a big hole in the ceiling and work through the night to get them out.
“We think the kittens’ mum must have sneaked in through the roof to have them.”
Jean believes the centre is also caring for the kittens’ mum, as a female cat who has recently given birth was recently found in a cat trap left outside the centre to catch a different feline.
But the suspected mum will not look after the babies, so centre staff and volunteers are working around the clock to feed them, with a little help from Meg.
“Meg is really fond of the kittens,” added Jean. “She is really kind and gentle with them and is always licking them, it is very sweet to see.”
Despite losing a leg, she has thrived under Jean’s care and is a friendly face to visitors to the centre.
Staff and volunteers are now facing an uphill battle to care for the kittens at the centre, which is so busy some gerbil enclosures are having to be used for cats.
To enquire about rehoming a cat or to donate, call 01706 861897 or visit the RSPCA Rochdale Animal Centre Facebook page.
More top news
Cloudy, windy and mild. Rain developing, especially across the hills - where fog and poor visibility will continue
Former Blackpool, Tranmere, Blackburn, Stockport and Oldham star quits football for a career in teaching
We are 'flipflopping' from mild weather to colder weather during the week leading up to Christmas, so what about big day itself?