Every dog deserves a chance at a happy and healthy life – but in a bizarre case of animal cruelty by birth, one backyard breeder had evidently been producing pups knowing they would have disabilities.
Oklahoma dog rescuer Jana Beller was alerted to the situation after seeing a post online advertising five 2-legged dogs for sale. Initially, she assumed the animals had been born deformed by accident, so she stepped in to help find them a new home.
“They were asking $75 a piece,” Beller told The Dodo. “I messaged and said that I was worried about people getting them for novelty, so I asked her to surrender them.”
After contacting the woman who owns the dogs, who turned out to be a breeder, Beller discovered that the five dogs were actually from three separate litters. They’d all been born to parents predisposed to produce this genetic abnormality, meaning the woman had been repeatedly breeding them aware of the defects that would result.
“Apparently, other rescuers have been dealing with this lady for years. People kept telling me they took dogs from her with the same condition,” Beller said. “She created them like that knowing they would be that way. I’ve never seen a situation like this.”
It’s unclear how many dogs had been born with undeveloped front limbs, or if the breeder was doing so to sell them specifically. In any case, for Beller, this sad case exposes what detriments can result when irresponsible people decide to produce pets for profit.
“I don’t like when people breed dogs, but if this happened just once, I’d have an easier time understanding it. But to breed litter after litter after litter with deformities? I think that’s cruel.”
Fortunately, when Beller came to collect the five dogs, she learned that the woman had ended her breeding operation voluntarily. It was just the beginning, however, for the pets who needed all the help they could get.
Two local rescue groups, the Bella Foundation and Safe Haven Animal Rescue, have stepped in to pair the five dogs with foster families. But they’re asking for the public’s help in improving their quality of life before they’re adopted out to forever homes.
“Overall, they’re pretty healthy, but we are hoping to get them wheelchairs,” Amanda Morstad, a volunteer with the Bella Foundation, told The Dodo. “We’re worried about the strain they’re under from walking around on two legs, so having wheels will help them live happier lives as pets.”
A dog wheelchair maker, Eddie’s Wheels, has agreed to produce five carts at a discounted price, but assistance is still needed to raise those funds.