Purchase photos

Pit bull surrogate mother at Sedgwick County Zoo

11/7/2013

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A new litter of African painted dogs at the Sedgwick County Zoo is doing well, thanks to a friendly pit bull.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A new litter of African painted dogs at the Sedgwick County Zoo is doing well, thanks to a friendly pit bull.

Eight of 11 of the painted dogs born on Oct. 31 survived but their mother couldn't produce milk.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/HCeJfN ) that after a plea from the zoo for lactating dogs that were close to weaning their own puppies, Sparkles the pit bull became the pups' surrogate mother on Sunday.

Zoo officials said in a news release that using a surrogate mother provides a maternal presence that zoo staff couldn't provide.