Even dogs are not immune to being judged for their looks and experiencing the resulting consequences. This is the story of Dutchess, a lovable pup who was unfortunately overlooked by potential adopters due to her facial deformities.
She arrived at Orange County Animal Services in Orlando during in 2022 due to a landlord issue, but the bumps under her eyes proved to be a barrier for her finding a family.
Potential adopters walked by Dutchess’s kennel without even glancing at her, and some even made harsh comments about her appearance. “She looks so ugly. What is that? What’s wrong with her? Is she blind? How much is this gonna cost me? She’ll never get adopted,” were some of the comments the shelter heard, according to its Facebook post.
The shelter wrote on Facebook that Dutchess had a relentlessly optimistic personality, but her appearance made it difficult for her to attract suitors. Her facial deformities were later found to be dermoids, rare skin cysts that required surgery to remove, which Dutchess underwent successfully.
Thanks to Orange County Animal Services’ social media post, Rescue Dogs Dream Inc. took Dutchess in and provided her with a foster home. The rescue updated the public shortly after, saying that Dutchess, now named Lena, was making herself right at home and had even scarfed down a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Lena underwent successful surgery to remove the growths under her eyes, and after she recovered, she found her forever family.
Lena’s new pet parents told Fox 35 Orlando that she “is the sweetest dog they have ever met.” Lena’s new family spoils her rotten, and she now has a new brother to play with in her privacy-fenced yard. She gets to go on hikes and adventures, and she is a cherished part of the family. The outpouring of support and adoption applications due to Orange County Animal Services’ social media post proves that sometimes all it takes is one share to change a dog’s life forever.
Dutchess/Lena’s story highlights the importance of not judging a book by its cover, whether it’s a person or an animal. Dogs with facial deformities or other conditions may require additional care or surgeries, but they can be just as loving and deserving of a family as any other dog. It’s heartwarming to see Lena finally get the love and attention she deserves.