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Heartlessly Abandoned By His Breeders, Somersaulting Dog Defies The Odds

Written by: Stephanie Maguire
Stephanie Maguire is a writer for She loves animals so much that she started her own pet-sitting business in 2017, and goes out of her way to point-out and pet every single dog she sees.Read more
| Published on October 25, 2021

When his breeders surrendered tiny, five-week-old Sampson to Good Sprout Rescue and Sanctuary, all odds were against him. Not only was he young enough that he should still be with his mother and siblings, but he was suffering from a severe brain infection.

In fact, they weren’t even sure whether or not he would survive his first night in the hospital.

Sick Sampson

“Sampson was surrendered to us by his breeders because he was not growing like the rest of his siblings and had a large, squishy head. His head is swollen with infection to the point it is too heavy for him to lift,” shared Audrey Quillin of Good Sprout Rescue and Sanctuary.

The tiny puppy was extremely weak. Understandably so, because he was literally being eaten alive by parasites and vomiting worms. The poor pup was also extremely malnourished. After a round of antibiotics, IV nutrition, a blood transfusion, and having the abscess on his head drained, he started to get stronger. Despite the horrible conditions his breeder kept him in, and all of the odds being against him, Sampson continued to fight. 

Sampson Sleeping

“He survived the infection, but the left side of his brain was permanently damaged, making him a bit… different. One strange thing he does is somersault,” said Audrey.

Since surviving the infection, Sampson has a hard time regulating his emotions. Similar to the way a neurodivergent human uses “stimming” to calm down, Sampson engages in different behaviors for comfort. Somersaulting is one of these behaviors. He somersaults when he’s overly excited.

While Sampson cannot control this, he is under the care of a board-certified neurologist who has assured his caretakers that it doesn’t hurt him. 

Sampson Sleeping

 “He definitely has some challenges, but with proper accommodations and lots of love is able to live an (almost) completely normal life,” said Audrey.

Sampson didn’t just survive—he’s thriving! He continues to get stronger every day.

Since arriving at the sanctuary, Sampson has received a massive outpouring of love and support. The internet has absolutely fallen in love with the somersaulting Bully-mix who is defying the odds. 

Sampson laying

The sanctuary has been flooded with applications for Sampson’s adoption. But they decided that due to his complex medical and behavioral needs, the best way to give Sampson the happiest, healthiest life was to make him a permanent resident of Good Sprout Rescue and Sanctuary.

As for Sampson’s previous owners, a cruelty case is currently pending against them. Audrey is working closely with a local humane agent, and together they are working to shut them down for good.


“Watching him fight so hard to survive as a tiny, malnourished puppy with the big, squishy head and seeing where he is now… it feels like a dream. The best dream. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving him, for your kind messages, for your donations, for your support. This entire experience has been so incredible, and it is thanks to all of you. Thank you,” said Audrey of Good Sprout Rescue andSanctuary.

Featured Images: Instagram

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