Last week, Helen Woodward Animal Center added an unlikely mother and baby pair to its list of resident orphan animals.  Found nursing a tiny kitten in Barstow, CA, a Longhaired Chihuahua canine redefined the mother/son bond and charmed Center staffers with her unconditional devotion.  When word of their story hit the front page of Yahoo News, staff members soon discovered that the duo was charming people across the globe as well!

Abandoned in a backyard in Barstow in January, with evening temperatures falling to 20 degrees, the mother dog’s puppies were nowhere to be seen but her strong motherly instinct remained.  Neighbors rescued the canine only to find her nursing a small, gray kitten that certainly would have died without her loving nourishment.   Currently thriving under Helen Woodward Animal Center veterinary care, and named Beignet (canine) and Gumbo (feline) in honor or the Mardi Gras season, the adorable twosome is ready to begin the next step of their journey together.  Center staff intends to keep them together and is seeking one adopter for both the mother and son.

Now, with Beignet and Gumbo’s international popularity, the perfect forever family should be close at hand.  Their inspiring story, featured on, Tuesday, March 4th, ignited Helen Woodward Animal Center’s website, receiving over 28,000 visits in less than 24 hours.  The canine mom with her kitten son are truly touching hearts across the world with international interest from countries such as Switzerland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile and Finland.  Donations for the pair have come in from across the country and calls and inquiries have arrived from as far away as Kentucky, New York, Guam and the Philippines.  Helen Woodward Animal Center is requiring a 300 word-or-less essay to accompany each application, stating why Beignet and Gumbo would be best suited to the potential adopter.   

“They are such a special pair,” stated Shannon Bush, Customer Service Lead. “We want to make sure that the next part of their lives together is absolutely perfect and filled with devotion and kindness.  They deserve it.  They embody love and comfort and it’s time they received it in return.”

Beignet is currently 1 year and 7 months old and Gumbo is 5 months old.  If you would like to adopt this special mother and son, please submit your application along with a maximum 300-word-essay, no later than Monday, March 10th, 2014.  Applications can be downloaded at: .  Please send to 6461 El Apajo Road, PO Box 64, in Rancho Santa Fe, 92067 or fax to (858) 756-0605.   The selected forever family will be able to pick up their new furry friends on Wednesday, March 12th.

For more information, go to, contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

Beignet and Gumbo at Helen Woodward Animal Center

Meet Beignet, the Chihuahua who saved and adopted a kitten, now named Gumbo: For more information on this story, please contact Jessica Gercke at 858-756-4117, ext. 335.

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