Ruby the pit bull was born on December 5, 2013 with a cleft palate, which made it impossible for her to nurse. She was already malnourished at 5-days-old, so a dog breeder sent Ruby to the Utah Animal Advocacy Foundation in Salt Lake City.
Jennifer Clayton, director of the foundation, said that Ruby “looked pretty bad” when she first saw her. Three veterinarians already advised that Ruby be put down because of her condition. Clayton, however, did not listen to the suggestions, and brought Ruby to her vet. The vet advised Clayton that there was a solution to Ruby’s problem, but it will take a lot of effort and money. Clayton talked to The Huffington Post and explained how she came to her decision.
“As I sat there trying to make that terrible decision, Ruby started to suck on my finger and I knew that she wasn’t ready to give up.”
Clayton took care of the pit bull, and resorted to tube feedings every few hours daily until March. The Utah Animal Advocacy Foundation also set up a YouCaring page to raise funds for Ruby’s surgery. The fundraising had an excellent outcome and they were able to raise $7,834, exceeding the $5,500 goal.
Dr. Alexander M. Reiter, a surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school, did Ruby’s cleft palate surgery. Ruby and Clayton flew to Philadelphia, and the surgery was successful, so much so that Ruby was able to eat puppy food from a can for the first time just a day after her surgery.
Clayton said that Ruby still has minor dental issues, and looks different from other pit bulls but has been healthy since her surgery. Ruby is now enjoying a full and happy life, and has more than 20,000 likes on her Facebook page.
Clayton hopes that people’s interest in Ruby will encourage them to rescue animals from shelters, especially those who need extra care like Ruby.
Ruby is now owned by Clayton, who was supposed to care for her until she found a permanent home. Clayton already has four rescue dogs, and she was not looking to add another one to the bunch. However, she fell in love with Ruby and became attached to her.
“She is truly one of the goofiest, happiest pups I’ve met. I swear that I have laughed more in the last 10 months than any other time in my life. Ruby’s love of life is contagious.”
[Images via Ruby’s Facebook Page]