The Sacramento SPCA took in a new puppy last weekend, and he’s already capturing hearts.
The 5-week-old Labrador, named Duckie, can’t stand or walk as he has a condition known as “swimmer syndrome.”
Swimmer syndrome is used to describe a puppy who paddles its legs “much like a turtle” and can’t stand, according to The Mia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps animals with birth defects. This is normally due to weak rear leg muscles.
He’s the second puppy that the SPCA has taken in with the syndrome.
Bueller, a 2-month-old bulldog puppy surrendered to the SPCA by a breeder in 2016 due to his condition, gained a following worldwide, according to CBS Sacramento.
Thanks to therapy, Bueller learned to stand, walk and run, and he was eventually adopted by a family who had lost their older bulldog to cancer, according to the SPCA.
“Bueller was able to walk again, although he now requires additional surgeries that his owners are happy to take on,” Sarah Varanini, public relations and social media specialist at the Sacramento SPCA, told The Bee.
Duckie was surrendered after his owner’s dog had an accidental litter, according to KCRA. The owner could not afford Duckie’s care.
Duckie will need “several weeks of therapy and love before we can help him take his first steps,” the SPCA said on Facebook. He’s with Bueller’s former foster family and will likely be fostered for about two months.
For now, Duckie’s future is unknown.
“I would imagine in about two months we will have a better picture of what his new life will be like, whether that’s walking with assistance, a permanent cart or doing just fine on his own!” Varanini said. “We are optimistic, even though this is only our second ‘swimmer’ case!”
To donate to Duckie’s care, click here.