It’s the sad truth that most dogs and cats that end up at shelters only get adopted if potential owners like the way they look. If animals are injured, disabled, old, or not so handsome, they often get overlooked.
But a Puerto Rican dog named Sniffles is actually his shelter’s most popular pet in spite of his odd appearance.
Since Sniffles’ story went viral, requests to adopt him have been pouring into the animal shelter.
Sniffles was abandoned by his previous owner. While living on the street, he became infested with parasites and embroiled in fights with other stray dogs. The fights left him with a mouth full of crooked teeth and no nose. Clearly, being a homeless dog is a hard life.
But now, Sniffles is a resident at Poodle and Pooch Rescue in Florida. His unusual story attracted the attention of local media, who ran a story on the lonely puppy. After it aired, Poodle and Pooch received more than 100 requests to adopt the dog.
Even without a nose, Sniffles is pretty cute.
And we give kudos to the person with the dark sense of humor who gave him the ironic name — since he’s not likely to get the sniffles any time soon. But his name may be due to the sniffling noises he makes on a regular basis.
He was full of parasites when he arrived in Florida, including hookworms and whipworms. It took a lot of medical treatment (and he still has a lot of dental work in his future) but Sniffles is now happy, though he still needs lots of attention for his health issues. But he’s still looking for his forever home.
He actually already had one family here in the United States, but the placement didn’t last.
At the time, Sniffles still needed a lot of ongoing medical care … and he was determined to run away. The family decided they couldn’t keep up and passed him over to Poodle and Pooch.
The animal rescue center in Central Florida takes up to 600 stray dogs a year. Sniffles has only been there a couple of weeks. His story aired on Christmas Eve and drew a lot of attention to the tiny dog. Now, hundreds of people are dying to give him a forever home.
But the person who adopts him needs to be prepared to give him lots of important medical care.
“He’ll need an adopter that is committed to cleaning his nasal passage twice each day and someone that will give him eye drops each day for a condition called dry eye,” said Rebecca Lynch, a worker at Poodle and Pooch. “He is full of parasites, both hook worms and whip worms, indicative of unsanitary living conditions prior to coming into our care. He also tested positive for Ehrlichia, a tick born disease. We are treating him and he should make a full recovery.”
But Lynch said that in spite of everything he has experienced, Sniffles is still a friendly dog who enjoys being around people and other dogs.
“Sniffles is a resilient little guy,” said Lynch. “Despite his past, and after some initial timid nature and confusion, Sniffles has really started to come out of his shell. While Sniffles look is unique, his story, sadly, is not. Sniffles is just one of many special needs dogs that we accept into our rescue every week.”
The rescue volunteers are completely smitten by Sniffles and say that he’s a wonderful dog to be around.
While they look forward to him finding a forever home as soon as possible, they hope that the people who don’t get to adopt him will be inspired to take in another special needs dog that might not otherwise get adopted.
Sniffles’ current foster mother, Genesis Diaz, also loves the unique little dog. “This morning I woke up and he was at the edge of my bed, staring at me, and he ran over and did a little twirl and started licking my face,” said Diaz.
Meanwhile, the medical director at Poodle and Pooch, Michelle Wacker, describes Sniffles as a “precious old man.”
She says that all the volunteers at the shelter are completely wrapped up in him.
With any hope, Sniffles’ hard days are behind him, and he’ll find a forever family in the New Year — one that will be able to provide all the care that he requires. But just as important as medical care is the love that this unique puppy needs. With any luck, he’ll also inspire others to adopt dogs that have special needs.
Watch Sniffles in the video below.
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Source: Daily Mail