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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Tiny 3-Month-Old Puppy Born with Five Paws Surrendered to Shelter

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Most dogs that you see on a daily basis are put together in a pretty standard way, including four legs and four feet for all the running, jumping and toy-catching they do. Every once in a while you might meet a three-legged pup, but a puppy with five paws? So extra.

Little miss Gema is a very unique dog. Born into a litter of bigger pups, she was the smallest and most unusual of the great Dane crosses born three months ago to one family.

The family she was born into soon realized she’d need some extra care and — knowing they couldn’t provide for her — turned to a local rescue for help.

“When she was born and the family saw her deformities, they weren’t sure what to do or how to care for her,” Gema’s page on the Stray Rescue of Saint Louis website reads. “They reached out to Stray Rescue and surrendered her to us so they could give her a fighting chance. They wanted to give her the best life she could possibly have.”

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“At Stray Rescue of St. Louis, we exhaust all efforts to provide the medical care every animal needs, regardless of cost. We believe every soul deserves the chance to live a life of love and comfort, and we will stop at nothing to give them that chance.”

Walking works a little differently for Gema than it does for most dogs. Her front right leg ends in two paws, and her left front leg is a little twisted as well, making movement more laborious and tiring.

It’s unknown if surgery is in Gema’s future, but she’s only three months old and may need time to develop and grow before anything permanent is done to address her deformity.

In the meantime, staff has described her as happy and sweet, and said she sometimes walks on her back feet like a kangaroo.

“We think she knows she’s in loving hands because her tail never stops wagging,” they wrote on her webpage. “Gema loves to be held and cuddled, and we’re happy to oblige.”

Cassady Caldwell, the Stray Rescue executive director, said that the family did what was best for Gema.

“When her original family reached out to us for help, of course we immediately brought Gema into the Stray Rescue family,” Caldwell said. “They did what was in the best interest of this little puppy, and we commend them for that.”

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“She will get everything she needs to have the brightest future possible.”

Gema has been a bit of an internet sensation since her Facebook debut, and she seems to bring joy to everyone she meets.

“Animals never cease to amaze us!” the Stray Rescue shared on Tuesday. “Just when we think we’ve seen it all, a very special puppy comes along to prove us wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gema! She is extra special and has 5 paws!”

“Officer Edmond and Officer Heimberger stopped in today to pick up some stuffed animals we aren’t able to use to hand out to kids in the area, and they were so excited to meet our special needs puppy, Gema!!” they wrote in an update from Wednesday.

There’s no word yet on when Gema will be available for adoption (or, perhaps, whether or not she’s already stolen someone’s heart for good) but she certainly has a lot of people in her corner looking out for her, and that’s the best place she could be.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking