These Shelter Pup Moms Are All Dressed Up, Waiting for That Special Visitor

Duchess, left, and Buttercup, haven't let losing their families dampen their spirits. Christie Lynn/Best Friends Animal Society

Every mother has her day. And if that old saying holds true, so too does every dog. But it seems a couple of dogs at a shelter in Atlanta have waited a long time for their day to come.

So long, in fact, that both dogs — Duchess and Buttercup — became mothers before finding a family to adopt them.

Although for Buttercup, that distinction was tragically fleeting.

Dog with flower in her fur.
Buttercup has bounced back from the heartbreak of losing her babies. Christie Lynn/Best Friends Animal Society

She was already pregnant when she arrived at Fulton County Animal Services. But in her weak condition, none of her puppies survived.

And Duchess? She experienced a different kind of heartbreak, having arrived at a shelter with five healthy and rambunctious babies in tow. One by one, they were adopted by families — leaving just mom behind.

When it comes to finding a family, puppies are typically the first out the shelter door, even though there are so many reasons why older dogs often make the most meaningful impact on a family.

A dog at a table, looking upward
Duchess nursed her puppies -- until they were big and strong enough to be adopted. Christie Lynn/Best Friends Animal Society

The thing is, as we've seen time and time again, a shelter dog's heart isn't easily shattered.

In fact, both Buttercup and Duchess aren't exactly sulking at the Atlanta chapter of Best Friends Animal Society. In the hands of their heart-healing keepers, they've blossomed in every way.

Dog licking cup at table
Buttercup gets spoiled at Best Friends shelter in Atlanta. Christie Lynn/Best Friends Animal Society

Duchess still likes to prance around on her daily walks, and, as the shelter notes in a press release, "demonstrate her good manners with both people and other dogs."

Buttercup, the release adds, has "healed and made lots of human and canine friends alike."

But shelter staff know all too well that shelter life can wear a dog down. This weekend, Best Friends is hoping that some families, in the spirit of that special day, will give these mothers the best gift of all — a home where they can truly spread their roots.

Think you can help?

If you happen to be in Atlanta, you can visit the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center any day between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m., or email

Dog eating at dinner table
Duchess' manners appear to extend to the dinner table. Christie Lynn/Best Friends Animal Society