Everyone loves cute dogs… but all dogs are beautiful on the inside, and the ones who look a little different are worthy of our love, too. Some animal shelters have said that “ugly” dogs are less frequently adopted and have had to encourage adopters to see past superficial looks.
One dog’s physical defect caused his family to give him up, not caring what happened to him… but some kind rescuers gave him the care and love he needed. In 2015, animal control officers in Huntsville, Texas picked up a mixed-breed dog named Bjarni, who had a very striking appearance.
The dog was missing half of his nose, as well as part of his lips. His teeth were crooked and he had bite marks, as if he had been badly attacked by another animal. He struggled to eat and b.reathe. Animal control was able to track down Bjarni’s owners… but heart–breakingly, they didn’t care at all about having their dog returned, and reportedly left him for d.e.a.d.
With his family turning their backs, Bjarni was brought back to the shelter… but luckily, some guardian angels swept in to give the poor dog the care he needed..
Anne Graber, the founder of Texas animal rescue group St. Francis’ Angels, got word of Bjarni’s story and took him in, determined to keep him in their care until he was recovered and adopted to a new home. Despite the dog’s disfigurements, Graber says that the dog still had a playful energy, calling him “vivacious and engaging.”
Graber was determined to get Bjarni’s face repaired, and reached out to groups who could perform the surgery. She found veterinarian Jason Balara, of Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, who agreed to repair the dog’s nose. For the medical costs, St. Francis’ Angels raised money through their Facebook page. And people came through in a big way, kindhearted donors gave $5,100 for the surgery.
The procedure involved reconstructing Bjarni’s face and realigning his nose with his sinus cavities. Graber said that in addition to making the dog “very cute and very adoptable,” the surgery would improve his health by making it easier to breathe and eat. And it was a big success: Bjarni came out looking like a whole new dog.
The surgery gave Bjarni a fresh start… and a few months later, he got a new family. Graber says she was happy to help Bjarni, saying she knows how things could’ve easily gone differently for him if he hadn’t gotten help.