EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A German shepherd at a Minnesota animal shelter is becoming a social media star due to his unusual appearance resulting from short spine syndrome.
Quasimodo, a German shepherd branded Quasi the Great by his Facebook page, is one of only 13 dogs ever diagnosed with short spine syndrome, which resulted in his having a crooked spine, missing vertebrae, a shrunken stomach, a corkscrew tail and only one testicle.
The Secondhand Hounds animal shelter in Eden Prairie, Minn., said Quasi was found wandering the streets as a stray and was brought to a Kentucky shelter by animal control agents.
The shelter said offers for adoption have been pouring in from all over, but Quasi first needs to undergo several surgical procedures, the first of which is scheduled for Monday.
The shelter said Quasi does not appear to be in pain, and his back can't be fixed surgically, but he has some issues resulting from being on his own that need to be addressed.
"Secondhand Hounds currently has almost 200 dogs available for adoption (some with special needs) and there are millions of animals waiting for their chance in shelters and rescues around the world. If you have room in your home and your heart, please consider adopting one of these animals that want nothing more than love, and a second chance," the shelter said in a Facebook post.
I wanted to wait until our page grew a bit before thanking the most important people on my journey: Shelter Director Kay Turpin where I was brought in as a stray, her wonderful, compassionate staff, and Terri Simpson for contacting Secondhand Hounds to see if they could accept me into their program. Without these true angels, I might not be here today at all. Their job is often thankless and heartbreaking, so today let's say THANK YOU in the biggest way!Here is a bit of my backstory from Terri, as well as the video Sara received the day she said yes to me:Back in December, a very odd, thin, smelly and "crunched up" German Shepherd dog ended up at a rural south central Kentucky animal shelter. He had been running for 5 days before animal control caught him and brought him in. Our first thought was that he had been kept in a crate that was too small and ended up developmentally hindered due to the small quarters. I know a Collie that had a curved spine due to the same scenario, and we had never heard of short spine syndrome, so that made sense to us.When his stray hold was over, the Director of that shelter asked for my assistance in securing rescue for the odd but very lovable dog. I sent out a couple of pleas to rescues that have an excellent reputation for helping animals in need of specialized medical attention, one of which was Secondhand Hounds and my friend Sara. One rescue declined, but Sara said yes and also explained to us what his rare medical condition was. In the meantime we also made another gruesome discovery - Quasi had an open wound caused by an embedded collar, and it went all the way around his neck. His transport had to be changed due to the inability to follow normal transport protocols which require that all dogs wear a collar (or harness) and leash, and also a sliplead for safety purposes when transferring from vehicle to vehicle on Mobile Mutts Rescue transport. Basic vetting was done and Quasi came home with me for a short time before transport. He, along with a few fosters and my personal crew, were great company during the 3 days we were completely snowed in last week. On Wednesday January 27 I got up at 4AM to get Quasi ready and drive to Lexington to meet the first leg of his transport. He overnighted in IL and arrived safe and sound at Secondhand Hounds in MN on Thursday. Media outlets and social networks like Facebook have covered his story from IL to MN, but that wasn't where it started. The first chapter of Quasi's story started the day he was born, and the next chapter began the day he was picked up by animal control and brought to the shelter. Had it not been for the love and compassion of Director Kay Turpin and her amazing staff, Quasi may have never made it out. But because she cares for each and every animal there, she reached out to get Quasi the help he needed. With a full shelter and not enough rescue assistance, we are always working our tails off to keep the animals alive and moving through the system, either by adoptions or asking for help from rescues. Quasi was loved from the moment he arrived scared and shy at the shelter. It is because of that love that he is where he is today.Rescue doesn't start at transport, or at final destination. Rescue starts the moment a frightened and nervous dog or cat arrives at a shelter and a staff member wraps his or her arms around them and whispers words of comfort and love; it continues through advocating to get that animal where it needs to be. If you are a proud owner of a rescue animal, whisper a word of thanks not only to the rescue you adopted from, but also to those people at the beginning of the story - shelter workers, rescue coordinators, fosters and volunteers who give both time and money to provide temporary shelter in their homes or boarding, food, collars, leashes, toys, gas for transport, and most importantly love to the animals in their care while they wait for the day they finally start their journey home. I am proud of what we did for Quasi, but I'm just as proud of what we do for ALL of them. Rescue on, until there are none. ❤Posted by Quasi The Great on Saturday, January 30, 2016