In October, we shared the story of Ariel, an abandoned dog who was found with a unique medical condition: she had six legs.
Now, there has been an inspiring update to her story…
Ariel’s story: abandoned with six legs
Ariel, a female spaniel puppy was found in a parking lot in Pembroke Dock, Wales on September 27. The pup was taken to the local vet, where she was discovered to have a number of abnormalities, including having six legs.
The two extra legs were fused together like a mermaid’s tail, so she was named Ariel after the main character from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Ariel was taken in by Greenacres Rescue, who said that her abandonment left her shaken. “When Ariel was brought into our centre she was very scared and timid,” Greenacres’ founder and manager Mikey Lawlor told BBC. “She spent that first night at home with me and she was almost completely shut down due to everything she’d been through.”
Vets examined Ariel, and found that in addition to the extra legs, she has “the beginnings of an additional vulva,” and found that her pelvis has not properly formed due to her extra hip joint, according to a Facebook post.
“We have no idea why she would be born with a defect,” a spokesperson for the rescue told Newsweek about her extra legs. “Never seen this before.” The extra legs are not functional.
The good news is that Ariel’s organs were all healthy, and vets determined that they would likely be able to treat the dog’s deformities, removing the extra limbs and additional vulva.
They soon raised the money for the surgery, but opted to wait to give the dog some time to settle. Over the past few months she has been in the care of a foster home.
Inspiring update: successful surgery
Now, months after Ariel’s story first moved animal lovers around the world, there has been an inspiring update: she underwent a successful surgery to have her multiple limbs removed.
“Ariel had her surgery yesterday to remove her extra legs,” Langford Vets Small Animal Referral Hospital wrote on Facebook. “The procedure went very well and Ariel took it all in her stride.”
There were initial concerns by vets that Ariel might have to lose her back right leg, but thankfully she still has four working legs intact.
“She’s doing really well, she’s bounced back and she’s a happy little dog and we’re hoping she’s going to go on to lead a fabulous little life,” surgeon Aaron Lutchman told the BBC.
“She’s got her own little character and even though she’s had a tough start in life she really has done well to come through this as she has… if we can do what we can to help then that’s just absolutely brilliant.”
Mikey Lawlor says that the procedures lasted about two hours, and Ariel quickly recuperated. She was discharged to her foster home this weekend, and after a few weeks of recovery she may finally be put up for adoption to find her forever home.
“The response we’ve had to Ariel’s story so far, including calls and emails from as far away as New York and Australia, has been incredible – so I’ve no doubt she’ll be snapped up,” Lawlor told BBC. “I just can’t say enough of a thank you to everyone who’s contributed to helping her.”
What a true transformation — Ariel has gone from heartbreak to happiness. Months after being found abandoned and with deformities, she’s now a happy normal dog who might soon find her forever home!
Please share this amazing update!