Many people hesitate to add more responsibility to their lives, not wanting to bring on “more mouths to feed.” But it was precisely more mouths that got Heather Hernandez into rescue.
At first glance, Toad might appear to be mostly normal. A grayish, pit bull-ish looking pup, it’s when you see her head-on that you realize something about her is different.
Her ears look torn and hang unusually low, giving the 5-year-old dog the appearance of a Brahman cow. Her tongue is rarely in her mouth. But that’s not the weirdest thing about Toad.
On one side, where her ear should be, is a partially formed mouth. That’s right: there’s an opening with teeth that drools when Toad pants.
“It’s attached to her esophagus and airways,” owner Heather Hernandez told News 9. “So, when she drinks a lot of water, when she runs a lot, she gets tired or excited, then it drools a lot.”
The mouth doesn’t work, and it has messed up her sense of hearing, but she also struggles in the vision and scent departments as well. Veterinarians have guessed that she might have absorbed a fellow fetus in utero, giving her these odd quirks.
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“Nobody ever knows what to make of it when we explain that she has a mouth in her ear,” Hernandez said.
“A lot of people say she’s ugly and I get it, I say it in jest,” she continued. “But ultimately, I think she’s absolutely perfect.”
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The happiest girl ? Some people give us a hard time about spending so much time, energy, resources and emotions on special needs pets that may never have a completely normal life. And that’s ok! When asked why we focus on these guys, our answer…? Because it’s what we do! ??♀️ We hope to show people that animals don’t have to be perfect to make a perfect pet ❤️ Please consider joining our fight to save special needs pets by getting involved at muttmisfits.com @muttmisfits
While many people are put off by Toad’s appearance, Hernandez was drawn in, and now everyone knows that Toad is the ruler of the roost and Hernandez’s main pup.
“Whenever I sit on the couch with all of my other dogs, everybody moves out of the way for Toad,” Hernandez admitted. “Everyone knows that Toad gets prime snuggle spot. It sounds silly, but she is very much my companion.”
Adopting Toad has helped Hernandez realize just what difficulties pups like her face when in rescues and shelters. Many potential owners are put off by strange appearances or requirements, and many perfectly lovable pups go homeless because of this.
So, she’s set out on a mission, and now runs Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue Society. “Part of our goal is we say we want to save the unsaveable,” she explained. They have homed over 300 animals to date, according to News 9.
They take in difficult cases, pulling dogs with major illnesses and broken bones that would likely be euthanized at county shelters, and give them a chance at life and love.
But Toad will always be top dog. “She came to me when I really needed her,” Hernandez said, “and I’ll never lose that part of my life.”
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