Road to recovery: Arizona rescue cares for puppy with cleft palate

The Arizona Small Dog Rescue is taking on a big case after a severely underweight, dehydrated puppy with a cleft palate came into their shelter.

"Ziggy came to us in pretty rough shape," said foster mom Denise Moore. "He was about 2 1/2 weeks old, severely dehydrated, underweight.

Ziggy had weighed just 6.7 ounces and needs to be fed with a tube.

"We’re guessing by the end of everything, he’s going to be probably 10,000, $11,000," said Beth Smith with Arizona Small Dog Rescue.

The rescue is paying for the pup's medical care. He'll likely need surgery in the weeks to come to fix his palate, but the nonprofit also helps hundreds of other animals.

Medical costs for April, May and June exceeded $100,000,  and there are four other dogs needing surgery that will total over $25,000.

"It kind of depends on the day, we can take in a few a day to 140, 150 every month," said Smith. "That’s usually what we bought, taken, owner surrenders, strays, we take from the county, Arizona Humane Society, Yuma, Tuba City strays, everything."

Now, Ziggy weighs in at 13.9 ounces at 5 weeks old.

His foster mom is hopeful that he will grow to be strong and healthy and find a forever home, thanks to the care provided by the rescue.

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