When a dog born with a compressed spine was rescued in 2017, he was believed to have been abandoned because of his rare condition. But now, he's got a new family and they call him the "happiest dog alive."
Cooper, a 2-year-old American foxhound, has what's known as short spine syndrome, a condition caused by inbreeding that results in vertebrae compression. It's a very rare condition, and only about 30 dogs around the world have it.
“The condition means that Cooper has a screwing and corkscrewing of his spine," Elly Keegan, Cooper’s owner, told SWNS. “It is fused in two places - on his neck and on his rear. He looks like he has no neck and to look behind him he has to turn his whole body.”
Cooper is believed to have been abandoned by breeders when he was just months old due to his condition, and he was rescued by animal control in 2017. The organization Secondhand Hounds helped get Cooper adopted by a loving family in Minnesota.
Copper was found with a lot of bruising and he had trouble going to the bathroom. He has since had surgery, and although he still needs a lot of care, he has been called the “happiest dog alive” by his family. He even has Facebook fans.
“It’s hard because he can’t go for long walks and can’t spend a lot of time on hard surfaces. He has to be on soft ground like grass or carpet,” Keegan said. “He’s such a friendly dog. Wherever he goes, he draws attention but he really revels in it.”
After Quasimodo’s story originally made headlines, owners came forward with more stories of their dogs with the same syndrome.
“Cooper is an example that dogs with disabilities have a lot of love to give and make great pets, said Teri Woolard, an owner surrender coordinator at Secondhand Hounds.