Breeders Make Puppy With Short Spine Fend For Himself In Wild, Now He’s The ‘Happiest Dog Alive’

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

In 2017, animal control found a puppy named Cooper wandering around the woods. He had bruises all over his body and could barely go to the bathroom without wincing in pain.

This puppy also looked a whole lot different than other dogs.

Cooper has short spine syndrome, which is typically caused by inbreeding. He has a compressed “corkscrewing” of the spine, fused together at his neck and rear, all the way down the middle of his back. It looks like he has no neck whatsoever. To turn his head and look behind him, he must literally spin his entire body around.

There are only about 30 dogs in the world who have this condition.

Because of his rare birth defect and strange appearance, it’s believed Cooper was abandoned by his breeders as a baby and left out in the wilderness to fend for himself.

Animal control connected Cooper to Secondhand Hounds, a nonprofit animal rescue in Minnesota. From there, Cooper was taken home by Elly Keegan and her family. It was supposed to be a temporary foster situation, so Cooper could regain his health and strength.

After six months, Elly officially placed Cooper for adoption. She fully expected the applications to come pouring in — but it seemed nobody wanted Cooper.

Finally, someone sent in an application but Elly realized she couldn’t bear to part with the inspiring pup, who’s now being called the “happiest dog alive.”

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