Posted 2 months ago ago
By Fiona Jackson
Tiny Teacup is a cruelly bred ‘toy dog’ puppy who was born without eyes and weighed just 1lb – the same as a bag of sugar! She is now looking for her forever home.
The Miniature Schnauzer and Wheaten Terrier cross was brought into a rescue shelter after her breeder couldn't feed her properly.
Named Teacup due to her petite size, the overbred puppy had no suckle response so couldn't even drink from a bottle, putting her in danger of malnourishment.
Teacup is full of happiness despite her disability (photo: Simon Galloway/SWNS)
Her mother was 9lbs and her father 11lbs and volunteers at the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Nashville, Tennessee, USA want to warn others of the dangers of buying 'toy' dog breeds.
Nicole Butler, 38, is the adoption and foster coordinator at the rescue and has fostered Teacup until she finds a home equipped to look after her special needs.
She said: "I couldn't believe how tiny she was and I was so eager to get some food in her!
"Teacup doesn't have any pain and doesn't know that she is disabled as she has never known life with vision.
"Nobody told her she's special so she gets along like every other happy puppy except she bumps into things from time to time and then just keeps on trucking.
"We always say 'adopt don't shop' but people continue to keep breeders in business in spite of the mantra."
Teacup was brought into the rescue at four weeks old by her breeder from Georgia, weighing only a single pound (450g).
Mum-of-two Nicole said: "She was freshly groomed but she was not getting enough food as the breeder was using a blue ear suction bulb to squirt food into her mouth.
"It seems she was treated well but the lady was just not trained or prepared for when things go wrong.
"She had no suckle response, or at least not a viable one to be able to drink from a bottle, and developmentally she was behind in everything from cutting teeth to drinking water on her own when that time came."
Teacup with her fosterer, and coordinator at the rescue, Nicole (photo: Simon Galloway/SWNS)
As well as being completely blind, Teacup was born with her bladder adhered to her uterus and struggled to keep herself warm due to her tiny size.
The fur around her weeping empty eye sockets must be cut short to prevent matting and infection.
For her first few months of life, she was fed wet puppy food and goat's milk formula through a syringe to get her weight up.
The 18-week old puppy currently weighs 5.2 pounds (2.4kg) but isn't expected to grow above eight pounds (3.6kg) in adulthood due to the way she was bred.
Nicole, a surgery coordinator from Columbia, Tennessee, said: "What they do is take runts, a.k.a. the smallest ones, from previous litters and breed them together to create an even smaller 'teacup' or 'toy' size.
"Runts can sometimes have issues of their own so breeding two of them together seems very counterintuitive to me, but toy breeds make the public at large swoon and I'm sure they bring big bucks.
"Sadly, money is all that matters to so many of these breeders and not the health, temperament, and overall integrity of the bloodline."
Despite this, Teacup is full of happiness and her favourite game is hide and seek – while attached to a harness and a long line.
Nicole said: "She celebrates so big when she finds us. She also likes running around on the trampoline but no bouncing for this girl, I think she just enjoys the texture and running circles."
She is still looking for her forever home, as her new family cannot have any large dogs that could squash her, can't have any steps, and must have a fenced garden.
Donations to Teacup and the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue can be made at https://bigfluffydogs.com/donate/