We’re sad to report that Boots “The Kitten Nanny,” a dog who cared for orphaned kittens, died peacefully at his Arizona home Oct. 3 in the arms of his family and veterinarian. A nationally-known Hurricane Katrina survivor, Boots was in declining health as he approached his 16th birthday in November. The golden retriever and chow mix gained headlines when he began volunteering and helping care for kittens at an Arizona animal shelter and at his owner’s home as she fostered rescue kittens.
VIDEO: Patty Spitler introduced us to Boots in 2016 on Pet Pals TV:
Boots’ compassion for the kittens was astonishing given what he had been through in his own life. Boots was rescued from Hurricane Katrina floodwaters in 2005. He was found standing in 10 inches of contaminated water in New Orleans and was in bad shape. He was rescued by an Arizona shelter worker, taken to Phoenix and nursed back to health. Shelter volunteer and Indiana native Susan J. Pogue Juergensen fell in love with Boots while caring for him and decided to adopt him. Boots paid that kindness forward by helping the kittens he worked with prepare for homes with dogs.
“Our hearts are breaking over the loss of our sweet boy,” said Juergensen. “I hope Boots’ fans around the world will remember him by donating to their local animal shelters and by showing compassion and kindness to others. Boots reminded us that there is good in the world. Let’s honor him by spreading goodwill.”
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 the Amazon and the Barnes & Noble websites.