An abandoned puppy, found dehydrated and cold in a back alley of Regina, is now thriving after being brought to a home where a dog had just had a litter of pups and quickly accepted the newborn.

orphan pup

A litter of puppies for Nanook went from 8 to 9 after an orphaned pup (found abandoned in the cold) was brought to her home. (CBC)

Caillin Rodonets, from the animal rescue group CC RezQs Regina, helped find the new home for the little dog which has been named Little Orphan Annie.

The puppy was found Wednesday night in an alley near Mosaic Stadium, whimpering and with its umbilical cord still attached.

"It was raining, it was damp and it was cold," Rodonets said Friday, a day after coordinating the placement of Annie with one of the group's foster families. "She was in very rough shape. You can just tell from the condition of her skin she was super dehydrated."

It was a bit of luck that Nanook had just given birth to a litter of eight.

"It was actually a perfect moment," Rodonets said. "Nanook... had just starting to deliver her puppies. We thought, OK, we'll give it a try."

It turned out that Nanook's maternal instincts were strong.

"We rubbed the towels on the puppy, did the slow introduction and let Nanook sniff her, and then Nanook started to clean her and within a matter of minutes started letting her feed," she said. "[Nanook is] so good. She cuddles her up, puts her under her chin, will nudge her in to feed [and] kind of picks her up and moves her if she's whining. She's doing a really really good job with her."

The new addition to the litter, which is easily spotted for its lighter coat, will be with the foster family until it is old enough to be adopted.

"We can give this puppy a fighting chance now and it's going to be interesting to see how she grows up compared to the rest of the litter," Rodonets said. "She has already gained some weight today. When her fosters weighed her she'd gained a couple of grams so it's promising, it's good. But [she's] not out of the woods yet. We still need to keep a close eye on her."

annie orphaned dog

The orphaned pup Annie is the one with white fur, on the right. (CBC)