When Anya Kopchinsky visited Bridgeport Animal Control shelter in Connecticut, she met Walrus — a tiny, small-framed pit bull with wide eyes and the biggest smile.
“I saw him and couldn’t resist,” Kopchinsky, cofounder of Pit Stop, an organization that rescues pit bulls and other dogs, told The Dodo. “He gave me the cutest eyes and he was hugging his tail, but you could tell that he was terrified.”
The shelter staff didn’t know much about Walrus except that he’d been brought in as a stray. But Walrus’ body told a sad story of neglect and possible abuse.
Walrus had gaps between his teeth, which made Kopchinsky suspect that he’d lived in a cage and had been chewing on bars. He also had a lot of scarring on his body, possibly from lying on pavement or another hard surface.
Walrus also has congenital defects that make his legs splay out in funny ways — and years of neglect wouldn’t have helped the condition.
“It’s almost like he doesn’t have an ankle,” Kopchinsky said. “It just kind of rolls over all the way to the right. And on the other leg he’s got hyperextension, so he sort of walks on the whole leg instead of just the paws.”
“You can tell he’s had a rough life,” she added. “He had some mange on his head, and he just looked like mess.”
Walrus had already been at the shelter for three weeks, and the staff there was anxious for him to leave.
“They wanted him out of there quick because he was terrified, and they figured he needed major medical attention,” Kopchinsky said.
So Kopchinsky pulled Walrus from the shelter, and got him the vet treatment he needed, although the vet determined that he wouldn’t benefit from reconstructive surgery on his legs.
Despite everything he’s been through, Walrus is full of joy.
“He’s just the nicest guy,” Kopchinsky said. “He absolutely loves other dogs. His whole personality lit up when he got to hang out with the other foster dogs in my house.”
Walrus does have some trouble getting up and down stairs, and he has a hard time running on pavement, but he manages to get around in his own way.
“He actually gets around fine — he’s a little slower than the average guy, but it doesn’t seem to hurt him at all,” Kopchinsky said.
A few weeks ago, Walrus was placed with a family, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out, and he was returned to Kopchinsky.
“He has a tendency to eat socks — the new family couldn’t handle that,” Kopchinsky said.
But she’s hopeful he’ll find the perfect home.
“Whatever he’s gone through in his past doesn’t really affect him now,” Kopchinsky said. “He’s so happy around people, and he’s a total Velcro dog. He follows you everywhere, and he really wants to cuddle, and everyone is his new best friend.”
Credit : Thedodo.com