Happy Puppy Born Without Eyes Due to Cruel Breeding Practices Is Searching for a Forever Home
Rescuers are searching for a home for this cruelly bred "toy dog" puppy born without eyes.
The miniature schnauzer/wheaten terrier mix was brought into a rescue shelter after her breeder couldn't feed her properly.
Named Teacup due to her petite size, the overbred puppy couldn't drink from a bottle because she had no suckle response, putting her in danger of malnourishment.
Volunteers at the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Nashville, Tennessee, are currently caring for Teacup and want to share her story to warn others of the dangers of buying "toy" dog breeds.
Nicole Butler, 38, is the adoption and foster coordinator at the rescue and is Teacup's foster parent until the special needs canine finds the perfect forever home.
"I couldn't believe how tiny she was, and I was so eager to get some food in her!" Butler told SWNS about meeting the pup. "Teacup doesn't have any pain and doesn't know that she is disabled as she has never known life with vision.
"Nobody told her she's special, so she gets along like every other happy puppy except she bumps into things from time to time and then just keeps on trucking," she added. "We always say 'adopt don't shop,' but people continue to keep breeders in business despite the mantra."
Teacup's breeder from Georgia surrendered the dog to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue on March 27, when Teacup was just four weeks old and weighed only a single pound.
"She was freshly groomed, but she was not getting enough food as the breeder was using a blue ear suction bulb to squirt food into her mouth," Butler said of Teacup. "It seems she was treated well, but the lady was just not trained or prepared for when things go wrong."
"She had no suckle response, or at least not a viable one to be able to drink from a bottle, and developmentally she was behind in everything from cutting teeth to drinking water on her own," the mom of two continued.
As well as being completely blind, Teacup was born with her bladder adhered to her uterus. The fur around her weeping empty eye sockets must be cut short to prevent matting and infection.
She was fed wet puppy food and goat's milk formula through a syringe to get her weight up for her first few months of life. The 18-week-old puppy currently weighs 5.2 pounds but isn't expected to grow above 8 pounds due to the way she was bred. Because of her small size, Teacup sometimes struggles to keep herself warm.
Butler, a surgery coordinator from Columbia, Tennessee, said: "What they do is take runts, a.k.a. the smallest ones, from previous litters and breed them together to create an even smaller 'Teacup' or 'Toy' size."
"Runts can sometimes have issues of their own, so breeding two of them together seems very counterintuitive to me, but toy breeds make the public at large swoon, and I'm sure they bring big bucks," Butler added of the breeding process that led to Teacup. "Sadly, money is all that matters to so many of these breeders and not the health, temperament, and overall integrity of the bloodline."
Despite this, Teacup is full of happiness, and her favorite game is hide-and-seek — while attached to a harness and a long line.
"She celebrates so big when she finds us," Butler said. "She also likes running around on the trampoline but no bouncing for this girl. I think she just enjoys the texture and running in circles."
Teacup is still looking for her forever home. Her new family cannot have any large dogs that could accidentally injure her. The home cannot have any steps and must have a fenced garden.
Donations to Teacup and the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue can be made at https://bigfluffydogs.com/donate/
This story originally appeared on people.com