COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (KRDO/CNN) - A photo of a woman breast-feeding a puppy is circulating on the internet.
The woman posted it on her personal Facebook page to explain why she did it.
Someone then took the photo and began spreading it around the internet. The woman said she did it to save the puppy's life.
"I just did it. I never thought I would ever do that. That's just something it was taboo to me as well," she said. "I guess you could call it a maternal instinct."
The foster mom chose not to be identified because she's afraid of the backlash of that maternal instinct she had.
It was the runt of the litter, just days old. A lab mix, whose mother was killed. The puppy wouldn't eat from the bottle, and wouldn't eat the formula.
"He just wasn't taking it. I didn't know what else to do, I was desperate and I just couldn't bear sitting there, watching him die," she said. "Literally what clicked in my head was like put him on you, just pray to god he will take something and not die."
Not only he didn't die, he's no longer the runt of the litter and his name is Tubbs.
"It really reaffirmed what I did was right because I was for myself, quietly, in my mind embarrassed. I was ashamed, I felt weird, it felt weird," she said.
Veterinarian doctor Amber Williams said she is less concerned about the taboo.
"I'm more concerned about zoonotic disease because there are things that can be passed from puppies to babies," Williams said.
Nutritionally, Williams said human breast milk also isn't the best for puppies.
"In an emergency situation, I don't think it's a big deal, but for them to grow appropriately I think it would be important for them to get on a K-9 formula," she said.
The foster mom's 15-month-old baby is weaned off her breast milk and so is Tubbs. He's now wolfing down formula straight out of the bottle.
"I've seen the results. That dog is alive because I took that initiative," she said.
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