Boots “The Kitten Nanny” has reached a milestone by taking care of his 350th rescue kitten at home. The 14-year-old Golden Retriever and chow mix and his owner foster rescue kittens to help them become more adoptable by socializing them and exposing them to new experiences. Boots has also been volunteering at an Arizona shelter for several years and has helped countless other kittens there.
Boots gained national attention when he began volunteering and helping care for the kittens in the shelter’s kitten nursery. The story is even more touching given the fact that Boots was rescued from Hurricane Katrina floodwaters in 2005.
Boots was found standing in 10-inches of contaminated water in New Orleans. He was in bad shape. He was rescued by an Arizona shelter worker, taken to Phoenix and nursed back to health. Shelter volunteer Susan J. Juergensen fell in love with Boots while caring for him and decided to adopt him. These days, Boots pays that kindness forward by helping the kittens prepare for homes with dogs.
“I’m often asked if I trained Boots how to behave around kittens,” said Juergensen. “I always look at him and smile and say he came to me this way. Compassion is a trait we share.”
The Kitten Nanny Book
Boots’ story is the focus of a book for school-age children written by Juergensen. “Boots: Hurricane Katrina Survivor and Kitten Nanny” is available on Amazon and the Barnes & Noble website.
Telena Eldridge with Noblesville, Indiana-based Woofs and Books says the organization uses copies of “Boots: Hurricane Katrina Survivor and Kitten Nanny” in schools. The organization takes dogs into Central Indiana schools and libraries. It helps children improve their literacy skills by having them read stories to canines.
“I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this book and how perfect it is for our program,” Eldridge said. “It covers everything we stand for and want to educate kids about: rescue, spay-neuter importance, responsible pet ownership and, most importantly, compassion.”
When he’s not fostering kittens at the shelter or at home, Boots visits school children around the country to teach them about compassion, kindness and resilience.
Juergensen is currently hard at work on another book about Boots for adults.