Three Chihuahua puppies who were handed over to a shelter in the US may only have two legs each, but a video released by the charity shows they have no lack of energy.
The MSPCA-Angell, in Methuen, Massachusetts took in the pups in February, after their owner died.
“The puppies astounded us with their upbeat and resilient nature,” Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at the MPSCA at Nevins Farm, said in a press release. “They immediately showed us that they could overcome their physical obstacle as they hopped and ran after each other.”
The Chihuahuas are being cared for by foster parents, Linda and Marty Jones, who are working with them to strengthen muscles which will help compensate for the fact that they have no front legs.
They said that Kensi, the pup with the darkest colouring, is the leader and is the most curious. Hetty is a little timid around other dogs at times, and G is a little shy - although he is coming out of his shell.
“Kensi, Hetty, and G continue to show us that animals can overcome many of life’s difficulties if they are provided a chance,” added Keiley.
He said the organization assists many animals suffering from severe trauma and serious illnesses, or in need of behaviour rehabilitation.
“This is a condition that we rarely see,” MSPCA spokesman Brian Adams told the Boston Herald, “Even more rare is to see it occur in so many puppies from the same litter.”
He added that such disabilities can occur when animals are overbred, but they can be overcome.
The organization hopes to provide the pups with wheeled carts, which will support their front ends, when they are four months old.
Founded in 1868, MSPCA-Angell does not receive government funding and is not funded or operated by any national organization. It operates solely on support from individuals.
Several photos of the puppies can be seen on the group's Facebook page.