Only a Solar Eclipse is Rarer Than This Dog’s Condition

For dogs, surviving a cleft palate—an opening between the mouth and nose that occurs when tissues separating these two cavities fail to grow together—is exceedingly rare because the condition makes it nearly impossible to suckle, resulting in most puppies born with the condition dying in their first days of life.

Cleft palate, don’t care! Clefford is full of life and can’t wait for his forever home. (credit MSPCA-Angell)

But a one-year-old dog surrendered to the MSPCA-Angell’s Boston adoption center proves you can only blot out the sun for so long.

He’s set to overcome his next challenge: surgery to correct his condition so he can be re-homed.

“Clefford,” as he has since been named by adoption center staff, was surrendered after his previous owners lost their home. Now the MSPCA is pulling out all the stops to get him the help he needs.

“We think he’s the ultimate survivor, as well just a really loving dog and he deserves a chance at a healthy and happy life,” said Boston adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger, who is asking the public to help offset the cost of his $3,000 surgery.

Readers who wish to contribute toward the cost of Clefford’s surgery can click mspca.org/spikesfund. “Our adoption center fund is depleted again after coming to the rescue for dozens of animals during a busy surrender season, so all donations are appreciated,” added Krieger.

Top Surgeon at Angell Animal Medical Center on Deck

Surgery to repair Clefford’s cleft palate will be performed by the chief of surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center, Dr. Mike Pavletic. Dr. Pavletic will close the gap to return Clefford’s palate to a normal state, which will allow him to eat and drink without food and liquids blocking his nasal passages—a dangerous event that could lead to choking, which he somehow has managed to avoid for the last year.

Clefford’s surgery is scheduled for early this week, after which he will be placed for adoption.