Former Foster Dog Pays It Forward By Helping Raise Foster Kittens


Sep. 13 2023, Published 2:56 p.m. ET

Raylan the dog knows what it’s like to be unwanted. The German Shepherd mix was a foster dog himself facing possible euthanasia when a woman named Laura Tindal adopted him and gave him his forever home. Now, he pays it forward by helping her raise foster kittens.

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Raylan’s story has been featured on The Dodo, CBS News, USA Today, and many other news and social media channels. As of September 2023, he has 117,000 Instagram followers and 11,200 followers on TikTok. Here’s the story of Raylan the dog and his foster kittens.

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Raylan started as a foster dog.

Nearly a decade ago, as of September 2023, Raylan was in a Canadian high-kill shelter threatened with the possibility of being euthanized if he wasn’t adopted. According to The Dodo, he was dumped off at a shelter in Northern Ontario when he was only 2 years old. He went to live temporarily with Laura Tindal, who regularly fostered dogs. Tindal could tell that Raylan’s previous owners didn’t take time to train him. He "didn’t know how to sit, couldn’t walk on a leash, didn’t respond to his name," she told The Dodo.

“He was my tenth foster dog that I had, and I ended up keeping him. For some reason, nobody else wanted him, and that’s everybody else’s loss,” Tindal told USA Today in 2020.

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Raylan the dog now cares for foster kittens.

After Tindal gave Raylan his forever home, she continued to foster animals, changing her focus from dogs to cats and kittens. As a young dog, Raylan was always looking for something to do, and he took on the job of caring for the foster kittens in his home.

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“When he has his kittens, he’s amused and feels like he has a job, which allows me some time to watch TV without guilt,” Tindal told iHeartDogs. “Seeing how sweet he is with the kittens and seeing how much the kittens just love him like a mother is truly heartwarming.”

Over the years, Raylan has helped Tindal care for an estimated 100 foster kittens. As a foster dad to the kittens, Raylan cleans them like their mother would, sleeps with them, plays with them, and gently carries them around in his mouth.

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And kittens aren’t the only critters Raylan has helped foster; he has also cared for foster ducklings. In one video posted to Raylan’s Instagram page, he stands protectively over a pen of ducklings while one of his dog friends, Taco, stares hungrily at the little yellow babies. Raylan growls and gets in between Taco and the ducklings when his friend gets a little too close.

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“Of course Raylan would never hurt Taco, just letting him know the rules and trying to keep his babies safe,” Tindal wrote in the Instagram post.

When Raylan’s Instagram followers asked if Raylan ever gets sad when the kittens got adopted, Tindal said not at all. “Raylan isn’t sad when the cats leave, he’s usually relieved to have some peace and quiet,” Tindal wrote. “That said, if we don’t get new cats within about three weeks, he starts to get sad and mopey.”

As much as Raylan loves his foster kitties, Tindal said they have no plans to adopt a permanent cat. “It’s hard to let them go, but it means that many more cats can be rescued, and it wouldn’t be fair to leave them with nowhere to go,” Tindal wrote.

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