Clefford the dog was born with a cleft palate disorder. When his family could not afford to take care of him anymore because of his condition, they had to settle for taking him to an animal shelter.
The poor dog could not eat regular dog food as he would hurt himself in the process and also needed a series of surgeries to correct the deformity.
He was taken to the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and was to be put up for adoption through MSPCA Angell. Sadly, no one wanted a Staffordshire terrier-Chihuahua mix that had his teeth always bared.
However, an angel came along in the form of Will Stoltenberg who usually volunteered at the shelter. Each time Stoltenberg walked past the dog, it would press itself against the kennel for a scratch.
The animal lover soon developed a soft spot for the amazing dog with a bubbly personality. It did not matter that the dog looked different; he was just a regular, cute dog on the inside!
Stoltenberg was shocked to realize that others were not willing to adopt the dog so he stepped up to the plate. When he took the dog in, he realized that the tough life the dog had had to live had left the dog emotionally bruised.
Clefford was scared of bikes, women, vehicles, runners, and skateboards.
Clefford was stuck in a shelter for months with a cleft lip. Now he's fixed up and healing in his forever home! from r/aww
With some time and training, Clefford stepped out of his shell to become the fun-loving dog he has always been, bursting with energy.
After four surgeries, the gaping hole on his mouth has become much smaller even though a tooth still peeks through as his nose is twisted. Despite the curious looks he draws, his owner said to People,
“Adopting Clefford was one of the best decisions of my life. Clefford is now truly a family member and I can’t imagine a world where I didn’t adopt him.”
Stoltenberg is intent upon spreading the good news of animals waiting to be friends to whoever will adopt them. Meanwhile, he is making plans to ensure his new companion is perfectly comfortable.