A dedicated rescue group has made it their mission to save puppies that are considered “different” in comparison to their other canine friends. Though these pups may have a few unique qualities that set them apart from the rest, Save The Clefts Rescue is on a mission to give them a second chance and advocate for their lives.
Save The Clefts Rescue emerged from one woman’s dedication to making a difference in the lives of dogs with cleft lips and palates. With losing a previous puppy to the cleft defect in 1996, she set out on an incredible journey to learn more about the condition and save future puppies in need.
It all started with a tiny 4-week-old puppy named Bosley that lost his life due to complications from his cleft palate. With cleft palates and lips severely affecting the roof of the mouth and lips, they are more prone to aspiration pneumonia when nursing or being fed. With much fewer resources for cleft baby care and inadequate education of the condition at the time, Bosley could not be saved.
With Bosley belonging to a litter of puppies that Jodi had just bred, she felt responsible for his existence and his struggle. It was from this moment on that Jodi felt compelled to help others like him, and make a difference for future cleft puppies to come.
The next cleft puppy named Gracie came into Jodi’s life in 2006, about a decade after she lost sweet Bosley. Thankfully for this duo, veterinary medicine had come a long way in the last ten years and was ready to offer Gracie the fighting chance she deserved. With a dedicated fur mom and a skilled veterinarian on her side, Gracie had everything she needed to make it through!
Gracie’s veterinarian stated that with proper feeding care during the first months of their life, dogs with cleft palates and lips can live long and full lives. Though some may require corrective surgery later in life, he stated that it was no reason to give up. With this comforting news from the vet, Jodi knew she had to give Gracie everything she had. Gracie lived to be a spoiled and deeply loved 10-year-old dog, and helped to pave the way for the Save The Clefts Rescue.
With the experience she gained from her time with Gracie and Bosley, Jodi knew she was ready to make a difference. She soon began reaching out to any local breeders and vets in the area that may come across puppies with the cleft defect. By offering to care for the puppies that would otherwise be put down, she was able to begin her life-saving mission at Save The Clefts Rescue. She did this all while working full time as a realtor, proving that her love for this mission is undying.
Though we have many tools to care for cleft puppies and offer them a loving future, so many puppies are still put down due to the extra care and time they require. With Save The Clefts Rescue officially becoming a nonprofit organization in 2018, they hope to end this practice by educating the public on the condition and how possible it is for them to thrive.
“We hand raise them around the clock from birth; caring for their physical, medical, and psychological needs until they are old enough and healthy enough to be adopted into forever homes. We believe they are blessings, not mistakes, and have a very special purpose to fulfill in this life. We work hard at raising awareness, educating, and advocating for their lives.” – Save The Clefts Rescue
Save The Clefts Rescue now works with multiple vets and breeders in the area by taking in any cleft or special needs puppies that are at risk of euthanasia. They offer them the special care they require during the fragile first few months and then go on to find them homes with loving adopters. Since the journey began in 1996, Save The Clefts Rescue has cared for 48 cleft palate and lip puppies.
Each puppy is sent to their new family with a special guide for care, which mainly includes special diet instructions going forward. Cleft palate and lip puppies need to stick to a dry kibble diet to avoid soft food getting stuck in their cleft palate, and should stick larger sized kibble to prevent this issue as well. Other than that, a cleft pup can live a life as full as any other dog!
“We believe they are blessings, not mistakes, and have a very special purpose to fulfill in this life.” – Save The Clefts Rescue
Thanks to the hard work of the Save The Clefts Rescue, the harsh stigma around cleft puppies is finally starting to diminish. Their efforts prove that these puppies are just as deserving of a long and happy life, having just as much love to offer.
If you’d like to keep up with their incredible work and meet the future cleft puppies to come, you can follow their journey on FB or Instagram. Maybe you will even become a future cleft rescue parent!