Chloe: a testament of love and endurance

Chloe looks up in adoration with her big hazel eyes and her tongue hangs from one side of her mouth.

A rottweiler mix, Chloe arrived at the Friday Harbor Animal Shelter Sunday, and is all love, despite the deformed jaw that gives her a unique appearance.

“She doesn’t have many teeth either, due to the disfigurement, which makes her cautious around other dogs,” said Jan Murphy, animal transport manager at the Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society. Her upper jaw is actually also misshapen, she explained, which causes her long tongue to droop from her lips. While she may be shy of other dogs, Murphy clarified, Chloe plays well with them. She is also very respectful of cats, Murphy said.

Chloe is the sole survivor of her litter, born at a puppy mill outside of Washington. Those siblings, Murphy guesses, were so badly deformed, their little bodies could not function.

Puppy mills are establishments set up to breed as many dogs as possible in order to turn a profit from the animals. They often use cruel inhumane practices, including keeping the animals in tight enclosures, not providing them with enough water, food or shelter. Females are kept constantly pregnant and never allowed time to heal and recover from previous pregnancies. These mills, according to Murphy, are often genetic nightmares due to constant inbreeding.

California recently made it illegal for pet stores to buy from puppy mills or breeders in general. They are required to buy from rescue shelters only.

According to Murphy, many states, including Washington, are leaning toward passing similar legislature.

Despite complications, Chloe is able to eat and drink without issue, does not appear to be in pain and does not require additional medical care as a result of her jaw. However, she does make funny noises as she breathes out of her nose, since her nasal passages are also affected by the deformity. She is also hard of hearing, Murphy said, but again, she navigates the world well. At five years old, she has plenty of energy yet is gentle with children.

“She is so affectionate and adores people,” Murphy said. “She is a testament to the strength animals have in overcoming the hand they are dealt.”

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