The way Krissie the cat is filling in for Miranda the dog, she just might just warrant a Mother of the Year nomination.

Miranda is a dachshund, one of 31 dogs recently plucked away from a Union Grove dog hoarder. Twenty-seven of the dogs were discovered March 25 crammed into dog carriers in a locked storage unit, without food or water and covered in feces.

Days later their hoarder, Susan A. Ball of Union Grove, gave up four more dogs she had in her home.

Ball has been charged with four misdemeanors for her actions. Many of the dogs in her possession were dehydrated and malnourished, including a pregnant dachshund since dubbed Miranda.

“At first they thought her puppies were dead,” said Jody Halladay, senior humane officer and animal services director at Countryside, 2706 Chicory Road. “Then somebody thought they felt some movement, and she got very sick.”

Monday night Dr. Tom Mano at Racine Veterinary Hospital, 5748 Taylor Ave., performed a Caesarean section on the dachshund, and two female puppies were born alive.

But there was no way their sick mother could care for them. That’s where Krissie came in.
Krissie had been a stray cat, trapped and brought to Countryside. She moved into a foster home with Jim and Joyce Bates of Mount Pleasant, who almost constantly shelter dogs and cats for Countryside.

In Krissie’s case, she was pregnant. Her three kittens are now a bit more than a week old.
Tuesday, Miranda’s two pups entered the Bates’ home near Regency Mall. Then they entered Krissie’s litter.

The Bateses first rubbed kittens against both puppies to give them that smell. Then they placed the kittens back and added the puppies.

Voila! The mother cat is now nursing three kittens and two puppies.

“We’re wondering if the cats are going to bark or the dogs are going to meow,” Joyce quipped.
She said that Krissie responds to the puppies’ whimpering by checking to make sure they’re OK.

“She’s gone from a trapped (stray) cat to a heroine now,” Bates remarked.

In about eight weeks, when the puppies and kittens are weaned, Krissie and the pups will go to Countryside for adoption. The kittens will follow when they’re about 12 weeks old.

The fate of Miranda — who the vet hospital’s staff named partly for a character in “Sex and the City” — is less certain. She had been vastly underweight, debilitated in several ways and undergoing the stress of pregnancy. As of Friday she was still extremely sick, not eating and on intravenous fluids only, said Liz Dahlstrom, practice manager at the vet hospital.

But if Miranda recovers, it might be some time before the clinic’s staff will give her up to Countryside and adoption.

“When the dog came over here, everybody fell in love with her,” Dahlstrom said. “We’re pretty attached to her.”