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Puppy-breastfeeding woman raises pack of questions

A Colorado woman, posting a photo of herself breastfeeding a puppy on her Facebook page, has reportedly caused the proverbial fur to fly.

A Colorado woman, posting a photo of herself breastfeeding a puppy on her Facebook page, has apparently caused the proverbial fur to fly.
Labrador Puppy - Creative Commons Licensing

The apparently lactating mother explained that she was worried about the Labrador-mix pup, the runt of a litter of puppies that were recently orphaned. The littlest one seemed unwilling to drink from a bottle.

“I just did it,” the woman told a television reporter from KRDO, of Pueblo, Colorado. “I never thought I would ever do that.” She went on to attribute her action to maternal instinct and said that she understood her actions were taboo, but she could not stand to see the puppy starve.

Intriguingly, she asked to be kept anonymous, although her own posted photograph had already gone viral through Facebook sharing, fetching innumerable candid responses from total strangers.

Almost immediately, public hackles were raised.

Most certainly, the dog lover’s actions raised plenty of questions.

  • Did the woman pause to consult a veterinarian about the puppy’s unwillingness to nurse from a bottle before resorting to more personal measures?
  • If the woman was able to breastfeed, that means she was lactating. So she probably has a human baby at home. But she also has a pack of puppies?
  • Was she concerned about her ability to produce enough milk to support her own baby, as well as the puppy (if she did have a baby at home)?
  • Is the woman worried about the rabidly critical comments of hosts of unfamiliar online comment writers?
  • If she wanted to remain anonymous, why did she post her own puppy-breastfeeding photo online?

A veterinarian weighed in on the story, cautioning against human breastfeeding of a puppy and warning that zoonotic infections might be shared from canine to human. She also indicated, perhaps predictably, that human breast milk is not designed for other species.

Still, the pup-nursing woman contended that her breastfeeding likely saved the wee canine’s life, as she acted in a pinch.

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