By Frances Wang

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sweet little Roo is a 4-month-old chihuahua mix, and in many ways, he’s like any other puppy, as he is in the care of the Miami-Dade County Animal Services on the path to a full life.

Seeing him wagging his tail enthusiastically, playing and hopping around you can see he’s a happy boy despite being born without his front legs.

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“Apparently someone found him in a park, and he came to the shelter from a good Samaritan. His front limbs are missing genetically because he was born without them, but he was able to adapt super well to that,” said Dr. Maria Serrano, chief veterinarian of Miami-Dade County Animal Services. “He’s just a normal, perfect puppy. “He hops around and he plays.”

Roo is in the care of a team working to fit him with custom wheels, a cart, made by a 3D printer, and then to find him a forever home.

Dr. Serrano can attest to dogs with special needs can thrive.

“I have another little disabled dog like her named Mako. She is a little pit bull mix, that she was born with swimmer syndrome. They are born flat, their bodies are flat, so they can’t walk,” Serrano explained.

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But with a loving home and therapy, there is great improvement in the lives of these dogs, who are blissfully unaware of their differences.

“Like any other disabled dog, they just don’t know that they are different. That’s what life gave them and they are absolutely happy, and that’s how Roo is too,” she said.

Serrano said she always knew this is what she wanted to do, and the good days overshadow the bad.

“Animals come in pretty broken. And when you see them go home to an owner that loves them – that is going to give them everything they need – it makes your everyday job worth it. It’s what drives us all,” Serrano said.

Roo is going to need continued therapy and to be outfitted again when he’s grown, which will cost an estimated $6,000, so donations are welcome.

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If you would like to help, you can learn more here.

Frances Wang