Arizona rescue cares for puppy with cleft palate

The Arizona Small Dog Rescue takes on a big deal after a severely underweight and dehydrated pup with a cleft palate enters their shelter.

“Ziggy came to us in a pretty tough state,” adoptive mother Denise Moore said. “He was around 2.5 weeks old, severely dehydrated and underweight.

Ziggy weighed only 6.7 ounces and has to be fed through a tube.

“We’re guessing at the end of it all, it’s going to be probably $10,000, $11,000,” said Beth Smith with Arizona Small Dog Rescue.

The rescue pays for the puppy’s medical care. He will likely need surgery in the coming weeks to repair his palate, but the nonprofit is also helping hundreds of other animals.

Medical costs for April, May and June exceeded $100,000, and there are four more dogs requiring surgery that will total over $25,000.

“It kind of depends on the day, we can take a few a day at 140, 150 a month,” Smith said. “That’s usually what we’ve bought, taken, owners surrender, strays, we take from County, Arizona Humane Society, Yuma, strays from Tuba City, everything.”

Now Ziggy weighs 13.9 ounces at 5 weeks.

His adoptive mother hopes he will grow up strong and healthy and find a forever home with the care of the rescuers.

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Christine E. Phillips