In honor of Father’s Day on Sunday, June 20, we want to share some of our favorite animal stories of fatherly love. Being a dad takes a lot of commitment and hard work, but these animals did it with kindness every step of the way.
Charlie has shown lots of paternal love to dozens of kittens. When he met the first foster kittens in his home years ago, he immediately began grooming them. It was then that his pet parent, Chandler, knew that they could continue to foster kittens for years to come with Charlie as their foster dad.
Through many new litters of kittens, Charlie showed unwavering support. Even with a young kitten with cerebellar hyperplasia and incontinence, Charlie was dedicated and would even clean him up.
In fact, Charlie became such a great foster dad that Chandler was sent the “hissy” kittens so that Charlie could help them come out of their shells.
Two-year-old French bulldog, Nono, has been lending a helping paw for quite some time now, having fostered five litters of kittens—alongside his doting adopters of course!
Nono is an expert foster dad, even getting up in the middle of the night if he hears his foster kittens meowing to check on them. He loves playtime and interaction so having kittens around is the best! Sometimes he even grooms the kittens!
Having Nono help be a surrogate dad for foster kittens is beneficial for not only the kittens, but for Nono, too. The kittens have someone to look out for them and can likely go to a home with a dog in it. As for Nono, he sometimes gets anxiety in the big city so having kittens to look after is good for him. Plus, the playtime never ends!
Dante and Lance’s reunion story will melt your heart this Father’s Day! Amie S. and her family had never adopted a horse—simply because they didn’t know it was possible. But once they heard about it, they went to meet several adoptable horses. They immediately fell in love with Dante, a previously unsocialized horse, who was kind and gentle.
Stopping at just one horse was not an option for Amie. After hiring a trainer for Dante and seeing his wonderful behavior, Amie and her family were on the hunt for another amazing horse. As luck would have it, Amie received a call from Horses’ Haven, where she originally adopted Dante from, asking if she would like to adopt another horse, Lance, who happened to be Dante’s son.
Of course, Amie had to adopt Lance and soon enough, brought him home. Dante and Lance recognized one another as soon as they saw each other and have been best friends ever since!
Having been around two adult cats since he was a puppy, Humphrey knew how to behave around cats. But it wasn’t until his adopter, Stephanie Winkelmann, ASPCA Senior Director of Creative Strategy, decided to foster two kitten sisters that his paternal instincts kicked in.
When Stephanie began fostering the sisters, Golden and Glee, she kept them in a play pen until they were ready to be introduced to Humphrey. But the pup was so curious that he kept his nose pressed up against the enclosure to watch and sniff them.
Knowing the kittens would be open to more potential home options once they were comfortable around dogs, Stephanie soon let Golden and Glee meet Humphrey. Upon meeting, Humphrey was gentle and cautious and would lay very still so they could check him out as well. He let the kittens take the lead.
Humphrey was very protective over his surrogate foster kittens. He would cuddle with them, was fascinated by their smell and sound of mewing, sometimes running to check on them if he heard them mewing from the other room. Every morning the proud father would go check on his kittens in the playpen.
Not only did Humphrey take care of the kittens, but, like a good father, he led by example. The kittens would take cues from him, follow him around and check out the same things he did. He even let them—very generously—play with his toys whenever they wanted!
Ziggy lent a paternal paw in mid-March when his adopter, Andrea, took in two kitten sisters named Tangerine and Marmalade.
Learning his parenting skills from the fellow cats who helped care for him when he was a baby, Ziggy began grooming and nurturing the pair.
In the past, most of Andrea’s foster cats bonded with her first, but Ziggy knew just what to do with Tangerine and Marmalade, so he stepped in cared for them.
To all of the human and animal fathers and father figures out there, from all of us at the ASPCA, happy Father’s Day!
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