Toad is a 5-year-old dog like no other. She was born with a condition where instead of having two ears and one mouth, she has two mouths and one ear. The second mouth, which has teeth and salivates, is located where her right ear should be.
The peculiar pooch belongs to Heather Hernandez, the founder of Mutt Misfits, a charitable rescue center for animals with major medical issues. Toad was a stray that was taken to the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Shelter. There they discovered the second mouth. She was then moved to her now permanent home.
“Immediately we recognized that she was very different to most dogs,” Hernandez told Pen News. “She was initially showing lots of aggression but once she and I got together, that all disappeared. Upon her initial intake exam at the shelter, our veterinarian originally thought she had extra ears. But once we sedated her for her spay surgery, that’s when we discovered that she actually only has one ear and two mouths!”
The second mouth doesn’t function as a typical mouth as it doesn’t open or close. Toad has a limited sense of smell, hearing, and sight due to the misalignment in her skull. The secondary mouth rarely causes pain, but during an inspection, the vets at the center discovered a few cracked teeth that were likely causing pain to the dog. They were removed and the pooch is feeling better.
“She is very devoted and loyal to her family. She thinks she’s a lap dog and always insists on sitting on my lap,” Hernandez explained. “All of the other dogs move out of the way for her, everyone has accepted that she gets special attention because our bond is so tight. We certainly can’t rule out that the ear mouth might cause further issues in the future but that’s okay, we can just take it one day at a time.”
Mutt Misfits is home to many pooches that are in need of particular attention. Hernandez founded it because there weren’t many organizations that focus on special need pups.
“Most rescue groups take in highly adoptable pups from shelters and rehome them. We focus on animals with major medical issues and saving the sick and injured pets,” she explained. “We like to help people to understand that animals don’t have to be perfect to make perfect pets.”