The 'surrogate mum' Jack Russell terrier nursing a litter of six abandoned kittens

A Jack Russell terrier has turned foster mum to a litter of six abandoned kittens.

Teasel the dog belongs to Sue Stubley, who runs Suffolk Hedgehog Hospital in Newmarket.

She was contacted after a feral cat was disturbed and failed to return to her litter.

Despite primarily rescuing hedgehogs, Ms Stubley agreed to take the cats for the night until they could find a home in a cat rescue centre.

What she did not expect was that Teasel would be the one doing the majority of the care giving.

She said: "It was cold and rainy and wet and horrible so I said to bring the kittens here for the evening.

The kittens were only supposed to be staying temporarily before going to a cat rescue centre. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"And pretty much straight away, my little dog then decided that she was going to come on board and help.

"She's lactating, she's feeding them, she cleans them, she does everything. So it's actually been quite easy for me!

"She isn't making quite enough milk so I do have to supplement their food but Teasel is a a great little mum.

"And if anybody comes in that she doesn't know and picks one of the kittens up, she'll march over and go and pick them up and bring them to her back again. She's adopted proper mum behaviour."

Teasel the Jack Russell feeding the kittens Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Initially, I worried and thought she might go for one of them so I was careful - like I always am with any animal that comes here.

"But when everyone had left and I went to feed the kittens, I noticed Teasel's behaviour and I thought 'she actually wants to see them' so I let her get close to them and sniff them and that was it!

"By the time they were ready for their second feed, they were sat with her and cuddled up with her.

"Generally she is a very gentle dog that loves and adores everybody. She loves children, she's a great little dog.

"And apparently, her mum was very similar and was very nurturing so it's obviously something that's in her nature."

Teasel cleaning the kittens Credit: ITV News Anglia

"She started producing milk that same evening - obviously not very much at that time but I did notice it - and by the following morning she was producing a lot and of course as she feeds, she produces more."

Ms Stubley has already found suitable homes for the kittens to go to when they are old enough, but she says she will miss them "massively".

"Especially as over the last few days their characters have been developing - they are getting to be so naughty and funny, running around and jumping into your shoes.

"And as for Teasel, I don't know how she'll feel when they're going but I think she's their surrogate mum for life now."

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