Animal Control officers respond to countless calls of dogs in need on the regular, but in 2010, Julie LeRoy stumbled upon a very special Pit Bull mix during one of these calls. LeRoy knew the moment she spotted the pup that Cuda — short for barracuda — needed to become a part of her family immediately.
This is Cuda.
She has what’s called short spine syndrome, or baboon dog syndrome.
When LeRoy found Cuda, her shortened spine was squishing all of her organs. She required immediate medical attention.
But now Cuda is an integral and loving part of the LeRoy family.
…Which includes four other dogs and LeRoy’s husband, who’s happy with his reluctant decision to welcome the special needs pup into his home.
Cuda got nothing but love at home…
But with her first public outing came points and mean-spirited giggles from other pet store goers. The sneering and snickering sent the dog’s mom out of the store with heartbreak.
In an effort to channel the comments to something positive, LeRoy entered Cuda in the World’s Ugliest Dog competition in 2011…
Although she didn’t win, public opinion of her quickly turned around.
Soon, whenever she went out for a walk, everyone wanted to meet her!
With all this attention, LeRoy decided it was time to make a Facebook page for Cuda, in order to raise awareness about special needs dogs.
She wanted there to be a place online where parents and prospective parents of special needs dogs could go to become informed. LeRoy hoped to form a community to help raise awareness to the general public.
Cuda has also been diagnosed with diabetes, which is a full-time job to keep in check.
The LeRoy household has totally changed their way of life to attend to Cuda’s insulin needs…but it’s worth it.
As if finding her true forever home wasn’t enough to make this pup content, she’s now helping others!
Cuda is a certified therapy dog, bringing joy to those who need it most.
To think that someone didn’t want to give this cutie a chance at happiness breaks my heart, but she’s spreading a message of love and awareness that will hopefully, one day, prevent stories like hers from occurring again.