Liz Oeffner was driving through Detroit’s West Side when she noticed a filthy dog limping along the road at a busy intersection. Concerned for her safety, she scooped up the gentle pooch and brought her home.
As the hungry stray ate, Oeffner noticed there was something strange about her mouth.
“She was eating weird,” Oeffner wrote on Facebook. “I assumed she didn’t have any teeth. Then she yawned. She didn’t have a tongue.”
Oeffner brought the dog to her veterinarian who confirmed that she was indeed missing her tongue. She then contacted local rescue group, Detroit Pit Crew, who agreed to accept the special stray into their care.
Like Oeffner’s veterinarian, they were in shock to learn she had been surviving without a tongue.
“I have seen a lot of very strange things, very sad things in Detroit with dogs, but I have never seen a dog without a tongue,” Theresa Sumter, the founder and director of Detroit Pit Crew told Fox 2.
Her new friends at DPC dubbed the pooch Helen Keller – or just Helen for short!
Helen was put under anesthesia Wednesday afternoon for a closer examination of her mouth. While her vet cannot say for sure, it seems that Helen was either born this way or suffered an injury – by accident or as a result of abuse – when she was very young.
For now, she is doing remarkably well despite her condition. She has learned to eat and drink in her own way, but rescuers say whoever adopts Helen will need to take a few special precautions on her behalf. She is more susceptible to overheating since she cannot pant, and will need frequent baths since she cannot lick herself.
Helen also drools a lot, but we think that just adds to her charm!
You can continue to follow this sweet girl’s story on the Detroit Pit Crew Facebook page!