Nobody believed this stray pit bull with scars on her face would turn out to be a loving kitty mother…
“She was found as a stray but had many, many bite wounds,” spokesperson Alix Tolley told The Dodo. Hema didn’t look like the friendliest dog—but looks can be deceiving.
Hema was a stray pit bull that ended up in the Washington D.C. city shelter known then as the Washington Humane Society, and now as Humane Rescue Alliance.
Despite Hema’s difficult past, she was very sweet. Her loving ways are what got her adopted by Marissa Clingen.
Clingen and her roommate, Robin Seegers, had not intended on adopting when they came to look at dogs at the shelter that one day in 2013.
“Hema started putting her paws under the kennel gate and nibbled Marissa’s finger. We took her out to meet her, and just looking turned into me filling out paperwork and going to buy a collar and leash!” Seeger explained.
Clingen’s first foster cat originally avoided Hema, making it hard at first to realize the loving nature of Hema towards kittens. After three years and 20 cats and kittens coming through the home, it became apparent Hema was a kitten lover!
Hema kisses the kittens, cuddles with the kittens, and even lets the kittens nibble on her ears (which they love to do).
“All she wants to do is lick and snuffle them,” Clingen tells The Dodo. “Who would have thought a stray D.C. pit bull with scars on her face would be a good kitten mother?”
Hema’s love goes beyond kittens as well. She is also loving and playful with humans! She likes to cuddle up on laps and give lots of kisses.
“Hema doesn’t have much of a sense of personal space,” Seegers told the Dodo. “She also likes to ‘help’ me type, by planting her pink lips on my laptop.”
Whether it’s kittens, humans, or dogs, Hema loves to love!
Hema’s loving nature and affection helps the kittens socialize and and become comfortable enough to live with a new family.
Muffin, a sick little kitten that came through Clingen’s care, was loved by Hema. Because of Hema’s careful care, Muffin survived this illness.
“Hema would lick his pathetic, crusty face and they would snuggle in her bed,” says Clingen.
“It truly brings tears to my eyes,” says Tolley. “The fact that she can still be so loving to those kittens shows the resilience of these animals.”
Clingen knows that all parts of care for kittens is what makes up being a foster parent—from bottle feeding to medical care to teaching kittens how to be a part of the family. The hardest part of it all is letting those kittens move on to their new forever homes.
“It can be really sad to say goodbye,” says Clingen. “I just try to remember where they would be if I hadn’t fostered them.”
Fortunately for Hema, the time for kittens is on it’s way and the shelter will be filling up again with little kittens in need of homes. (Be sure to call your local shelter to help out!)
While this is a hard time of year for shelters, it’s a great time of year for Hema the pit bull!
h/t The Dodo