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Snowie, The Cat-Hating Dog

Snowie watches over her kittens. (Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Bulletin)

Snowie, the 3-year-old white Shiba Inu, hates cats! According to her owner, Frank Schultz of Ewa Beach, HI, she is a "certified cat-hater". Whenever Snowie would see a cat, she would go nuts. If she was off lead, she would chase them down the road. Once she even chased a cat up a tree and tried to climb up the tree after it. "If she's not on the leash, she'll attack them," says Schultz.

When Schultz's daughter Megumi was walking Snowie one morning, they heard meowing coming from under the garden shed. As Snowie went to investigate the sound by sniffing near the shed, she was scratched. Megumi went to get her father who discovered that there was a litter of four kittens in the shed. Apparently, the mother cat had darted away and had not returned.

Megumi and her father gathered up the kittens took them home and began feeding them kitten formula with an eyedropper. Just for fun, Schultz's wife placed one of the kittens on Snowie's teat. Snowie seemed to look a little confused, but when the other three kittens began to nurse, her maternal instincts seem to take over. Now the former cat-hater is producing milk and feeding the kittens four to six times a day.

Although the Shiba Inu has never been pregnant or nursed before, it is possible for this process to occur. Induced lactation is a process that human mothers use to feed infants that they did not give birth to. It is used frequently in third world countries where women will induce lactation to care for orphans. Here in the United States, it is done for adopted children and the process is known as adoptive breastfeeding.

Megumi has named her new kittens Tabby, Ginger, Momo and Casey. "Snowie licks them and follows them everywhere. She protects them and is really happy." She even rushes through her evening walk so that she can return to her "children". Schultz is unsure of whether he will put the kittens up for adoption; however, he has had lots of requests for the kittens that have been raised by a dog.

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