The dog was abandoned by the people who should have loved and cared for her. Although she found safety, she was heavily pregnant and her puppies were about to come out. However, when she started to give birth, her rescuers just couldn’t believe their eyes. Were they really seeing what they thought they were?
In January 2015 a shocking Texan rescue video was uploaded to YouTube. The footage in question featured a heavily pregnant dachshund who had been treated like trash by her previous owners. What’s more, her story captured – and broke – the hearts of animal lovers across the globe.
The dog known as Maria had a terrible start to life as a consequence of abusive owners. Although much of what she went through remains shrouded in mystery, if the condition that she was found in is any indication of her past, none of it was good.
Actually, she was treated much like the dogs on a puppy farm. To be precise, her owners didn’t seem to care for Maria’s health and their only concern was her usefulness. It would appear that she was used as a breeder dog to birth puppies at least once.
Whether Maria had birthed any puppies in the past is not known for sure. However, before Maria was rescued she had certainly been forced into pregnancy. In fact, she’d been made to carry while suffering from a disability. You see, the little dog was paralyzed.
Furthermore, she’d been paralyzed for a long time before her pregnancy and the condition had gone untreated. In fact, Maria had no feeling in her body from any point below her rib cage. Yet even so, her health wasn’t taken into consideration when she was bred.
She could only move by dragging the rear end of her little body around on the floor. Regardless, she was still able to make puppies for her owners, so it clearly seemed of little consequence to them. When Maria did become pregnant, though, those owners apparently then realized that there may be complications.
Although birthing problems can occur in any dog breed, some are more likely to have difficulties than others. According to the animal healthcare site PetMeds, dachshunds such as Maria are one of those breeds. In particular, there is a higher likelihood that they will need Cesarean sections.
A Cesarean section – often referred to as a C-Section – is usually performed when a mother or her future child is at risk during pregnancy. It involves making surgical incisions to remove the baby from the womb without passing through the body vaginally. The process is very similar in dogs as it is in humans.
Dachshunds have a large head ratio compared to their body size. As a result, it’s not always possible to safely fit a puppy through the mommy dog’s comparatively small pelvis. This was not something that Maria’s owners were prepared for, especially when they saw how much it would cost.
“[Maria was] dumped when her owners realized that she needed a $3,000 C-section,” her rescue video explained. So, she was abandoned by the people she relied on for protection and love. However, there were good people who cared for dogs like Maria, and they found her.
Maria was picked up by the Friends of Emma (FOE), a medical rescue group based in Fort Worth, Texas. “We are a private rescue home providing for major medical, critical care and hospice animals,” an FOE Facebook post explained. “We work with some of the most critical and rare cases.”
Moreover, Maria was in a critical state when she arrived in their care. Not only was she paralyzed and pregnant, but she was also suffering from a great deal of neglect. For instance, she was full of fleas to such an extent that she’d developed anemia.
FOE’s rescue video described Maria as “malnourished, terrified and full of infection.” Nevertheless, she clung on to life for the sake of her pups. Under FOE’s care, her health slowly improved. Then, when it was time to give birth, she had quite a surprise in store for her rescuers.
“On August 4, 2014, Maria delivered seven healthy babies via C-section,” FOE’s video announced. They were named Friedrich, Gretl, Werner, Liesl, Louisa, Kurt and Rolfe and were collectively dubbed “The Von Dapp family.” Thankfully, Maria herself also recovered well from surgery, despite her vulnerable condition.
“She still has no milk,” FOE subsequently wrote in a Facebook update. “[But that’s] common, considering her depleted condition upon arrival. And with a C-section, often mothers do not experience milk let down even with stimulants. So I have bottle fed these kids from birth.”
“They still remain with mom, nurse for comfort and she cares for them in all other aspects. And [she] is a very good Mommy!” The next step was finding the family furrever homes and, thankfully, they were spoilt for choice. Indeed, hundreds of offers continued to stream in long after the pups’ adoptions!
As for mommy Maria, FOE thought that she would never completely recover from her paralysis. Even so, rescuers worked with Maria to try and give her the best quality of life she could have. The good news is that they succeeded in improving her situation massively.
“Maria still has work to do,” FOE’s video explained. “She still drags her legs when she’s very excited (or tired). She stumbles some – and waddles a bit – but she feels, she walks, she runs.” It gets even better: Maria found her forever home, too!
In response to the huge interest people had shown in adopting the family, FOE subsequently issued a statement. “Maria and her puppies […] all found their forever families many moons ago. But thanks for the overwhelming interest in them.” It’s wonderful to know that Maria learnt how to wag her tail again.