POSTED: Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 9:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Kimberleigh Kernon is used to having a house full of animals. As the president of Saving Grace Animal Rescue in Pasco County, she saves dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. So, she didn't think much of it when she rescued a young pit bull named Nena about two weeks ago.
Nena had just given birth to eight puppies, but only two survived.
"She missed her babies," said Kernon, who describes Nena as depressed. "And I was like, we need to get her some orphans or something."
Kernon tried thinking of a solution to help Nena, when a solution came to her over the Internet.
"It just so happens that night that someone sent me a Facebook link that there were orphans in South Carolina, who's mother had gotten hit by a car," Kernon explained.
The six shih tzu-poodle mix puppies were just days old. Through a network of rescue volunteers, they organized transport of the puppies from South Carolina to Ocala, where Kernon picked them up.
She brought them home, worried about introducing them to Nena, hoping she'd adopt the puppies. But she didn't need to worry.
"She could hear them and she was going nuts in the room, and I brought them in, and she just literally pushed me out of the way and was getting to them," she said.
The puppies are now just like one litter. Nena's two surviving pit bull puppies look huge next to the tiny shih tzu-poodles, but Nena treats them all the same.
"She's a good mama," Kernon said. "They sleep on top of each other and they snuggle together, and it's really neat."
The puppies are ten and twelve days old. Once they're at least eight weeks, Kernon will start looking for families to adopt them permanently. For more information, visit www.savinggraceanimalrescue.org .