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Dog Suffering from Painful Eye Problems Supported Through Surgery by 'Maternal' Canine Friend (Exclusive)

Best dog friends Kaylee and Nibs are now looking for a foster home together with help from the the Dutchess County SPCA

<p>Dutchess County SPCA</p> Nibs (left) and Kaylee (right) smiling at the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park, New York

Dutchess County SPCA

Nibs (left) and Kaylee (right) smiling at the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park, New York
  • Dog friends 3-year-old Kaylee and 13-year-old Nibs were surrendered together to the Dutchess County SPCA

  • The New York shelter is now looking for a foster home to take in both dogs as Kaylee recovers from surgery

  • Kaylee, who cannot see, arrived at DCSPCA with glaucoma and painful inflammation affecting both eyes, so the shelter decided to remove the dog's eyes

Canine best friends Kaylee and NIbs are looking for a loving home for their next chapter.

The dogs recently arrived at Dutchess County SPCA's shelter in Hyde Park, New York, from the same home as a bonded pair. At first, Kaylee and Nibs' stay at the shelter was temporary.

"Initially, their owner brought them to us as part of our safety net boarding program. If someone is in a difficult position (e.g., they lost their housing or have a medical emergency), we will board their animals for them free of charge for a definite period until they get back on their feet. In the case of these two dogs, the owner was not able to take them back and ended up surrendering them to us," Lynne Meloccaro, the executive director of DCSPCA, tells PEOPLE.

Now, the pooch pals are looking for a foster home together — a safe, compassionate place where Kaylee can heal. Kaylee, 3, arrived at the shelter with glaucoma and painful inflammation in both of her eyes.

Related: Dog In and Out of Shelters for 12 Years Finds Her Forever Family After Terminal Cancer Diagnosis (Exclusive)

She can "get around quite well" using her sense of smell, and her 13-year-old friend, Nibs, helps her with the rest.

"She relies on Nibs for cues about the people and things around her. Kaylee trusts Nibs to let her know that a new person is a friend or that it's time to eat or go outside," Meloccaro explains.

<p>Dutchess County SPCA</p> Nibs (left) and Kaylee (right) at the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park. New YOrk

Dutchess County SPCA

Nibs (left) and Kaylee (right) at the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park. New YOrk

"Because Kaylee's eyes were not functioning and were giving her considerable pain, the decision was made to remove them," the shelter director adds.

After Kaylee was officially surrendered to the DCSPA with Nibs, the shelter removed the younger dog's eyes to help ease her discomfort. The procedure appears to have caused more stress for Nibs than Kaylee, who endured the operation well.

Related: Dog Who Lost Her 'Limbs, Ears, Tail, and Toes' to Animal Cruelty Cares for Foster Puppies as She Heals

"Nibs was beside herself during Kaylee's surgery. When Kaylee returned to her, Nibs stayed by her side constantly, and Kaylee looked to Nibs for comfort. It's heartwarming to see them together, especially since Kaylee is a very tall, gentle giant, and Nibs is a short, squat hippo. They are like the Odd Couple — distinct personalities but inseparable," Meloccaro says.

The director adds that Nibs came into the shelter with strong feelings for Kaylee, and that bond has only intensified.

<p>Dutchess County SPCA</p> Kaylee the dog following her eye surgery

Dutchess County SPCA

Kaylee the dog following her eye surgery

"Since Nibs is so much older, and Kaylee probably had vision issues since she was a puppy, we surmised that Nibs' maternal instinct kicked in, and she considered herself a canine caretaker for Kaylee," Meloccaro says of how the bond between Kaylee and Nibs first formed.

DCSPCA has no plans to separate the pair. The shelter is looking for a foster home where both dogs can recover together. Kaylee is adjusting following her eye surgery, and Nibs is recovering from Lyme disease and an operation to remove non-cancerous fatty masses.

"A good foster for this pair will have experience with large dogs and have suitable space for them. A one-level house would be preferable, and a layout where Kaylee can move about and map her surroundings easily," Meloccaro shares.

<p>Dutchess County SPCA</p> Nibs and Kaylee enjoying the outdoors

Dutchess County SPCA

Nibs and Kaylee enjoying the outdoors

She says the two dog friends should be enjoyable foster pets once they settle into their new surroundings.

"Now that Kaylee is no longer uncomfortable, Nibs feels better, too. Both of them still cuddle together, but Nibs will allow herself a little me time for a nap when Kaylee is playing, but she has to be sure of where Kaylee is at all times. And Kaylee needs to know that Nibs is always nearby," the director adds.

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Once the dogs are fully healed, DCSPCA will start looking for a forever home for the duo.

"We consider them to be bonded, so they must be adopted together," Meloccaro says.

To learn more about the Dutchess Country SPCA and help with its life-saving work, visit the organization's website.

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