Foothills Animal Shelter in Colorado found a freezing pitbull wandering around. Shelter employees thought she might have recently given birth, but didn’t find the dog with any puppies, PEOPLE reported.

“During my exam, the first thing I noticed is that she was lactating,” Claire Vaiden, Foothills Animal Shelter’s veterinarian, said in a video. “She had a lot of development on her mammary tissues, which told me that she had some very young puppies she was feeding.”

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Source: Foothills Animals Shelter/YouTube

To help protect the puppies that might get stuck in the freezing cold, the shelter employees wanted to bring Betty the pitbull back to the area she was found in to see if she could smell and find her babies. It worked! “We took Betty back to where we found her in hopes that her maternal instinct would lead us to her puppies, and that’s exactly what happened,” Jenny Homan, Foothills Animal Shelter’s marketing and community engagement manager, tells Daily Paws.

Betty found the 3-week old puppies and the entire family was brought back to the shelter for some extra help. All four puppies and Betty were adopted after spending time in a foster home. “Being able to first reunite the babies with their mama, who they needed to survive, and then being able to find this family loving homes is truly inspiring,” Homan said.

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

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Read more recent animal news in One Green Planet about including the animal shelter that threw an epic birthday party for one of its dogs, Dennis Quaid the cat’s new owner, this rescue kitten’s jaw was fixed with buttons, and the sweet rescue husky with an untreatable tumor and big personality!

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