In a heartwarming tale that showcases both the cruelty and kindness of the human spirit, a 11-week-old spaniel puppy named Ariel has captured the hearts of many after being found abandoned in a supermarket car park in Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire.
Ariel’s story is one of both hardship and hope. Born with six legs and two vulvas, her unique condition immediately set her apart from her canine counterparts. Yet, despite her extraordinary appearance, Ariel’s fate took a dark turn when she was cruelly dumped in a supermarket parking lot, left to fend for herself.
A compassionate passer-by discovered Ariel in a state of distress and ensured she received the help she desperately needed. The puppy was promptly taken to Greenacres Rescue near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, under the care of the council’s dog warden.
At Greenacres Rescue, Ariel was given a much-needed check-up at Fenton Vets in Haverfordwest. The veterinary team quickly noticed her unique condition and aptly named her Ariel, drawing a parallel between her extra back legs, partially fused together, and the tail of the iconic Disney character from “The Little Mermaid.”
Mikey Lawlor, the founder and manager of Greenacres Rescue, shared his initial impressions of Ariel, stating, “When Ariel was brought into our center, she was very scared and timid. She spent that first night at home with me, and she was almost completely shut down due to everything she’d been through.”
However, despite her ordeal, Ariel’s condition appeared to be well-cared for during her time on the streets. Her coat was dry, she wasn’t hungry, and she was not significantly underweight, suggesting that she had not been abandoned for an extended period.
Ariel’s extraordinary condition, with two extra hind legs growing on the right side of her tail, posed both medical challenges and opportunities for her future. As Mr. Lawlor described them, the two conjoined extra legs essentially represented one thigh bone that splits into two shin bones at the knee joint, though they are not functional and serve no purpose.
Moreover, Ariel’s unique physiology led to the improper formation of her pelvis due to having two hip joints on one side. This, in turn, affected her normal back right leg, which had virtually no muscle tone, making it likely that it would also require amputation.
To address these issues and provide Ariel with the best possible quality of life, a fundraising campaign was initiated, and more than £2,000 has been raised by generous members of the public. These funds will be crucial for Ariel’s upcoming surgeries, including removing her two extra legs and vulva, the latter of which will be done when she is ready for neutering.
Ariel’s journey towards healing and recovery has only just begun. The plan is to give her a month to recuperate and adjust to life with a foster family, during which her progress will be closely monitored. Greenacres Rescue has received an overwhelming 200 offers from individuals eager to provide Ariel with a loving forever home. However, Mr. Lawlor emphasized that adoption applications will not be accepted until Ariel’s future is more certain.
Ariel’s story is a testament to the resilience of animals and the capacity of compassionate individuals to come to their aid in times of need. While her journey ahead may be challenging, Ariel’s unwavering spirit and the outpouring of support from the community remind us of the power of empathy and the ability to overcome adversity with love and care.