Having a second mouth located where an ear should be, this gray-brown stray mutt, named Toad, is perhaps one of the strangest canines one might ever come across. However, even though the appearance of Toad might seem peculiar, in the eyes of her owner, Heather Hernandez, she’s “one in a million.”
When Hernandez and her family first laid their eyes on Toad at the shelter in 2016, they were completely shocked. “It kind of sounds like something from a science fiction movie,” Hernandez told KFOR.
Other than her non-functional additional mouth, which drools and bears teeth, Toad has ears that look ripped and disproportionate, as well as a tongue that always sticks out from her mouth.
Nobody seemed to know the actual reason for Toad’s deformity, but according to her primary veterinarian, she might have absorbed a twin in utero. Meanwhile, Toad is still able to live a normal life; however, owing to her misaligned face, she’s expected to encounter some complications as she grows older.
Toad’s strange features might turn many adoptees away, but it was love at first sight for Hernandez.
“Everything about her behavior and appearance was NUTS but we had the most immediate and intense bond. It’s truly indescribable. She is my soul dog and I’ve loved her since the day I met her,” Hernandez wrote on Instagram.
Though Toad possesses odd traits, limited hearing, and vision, Hernandez knew she had to give her a forever home. So, she brought her home.
“We realized immediately she was different,” she said. “Obviously, the way she looks but, her personality and her bond to me and my family, it was just so immediate.”
“Just because an animal doesn’t look perfect, it can still make a perfect pet and a perfect part of the family,” she added.
Although Toad requires extra care—her additional mouth needs to be cleaned every night, as a result of the saliva that would deposit on her fur—Hernandez doesn’t mind at all.
Hernandez also explained that “the main teeth, the ones you see primarily, they are connected to her skull, so we leave them.”
“It’s attached to her esophagus and airways. So, when she drinks a lot of water, when she runs a lot, she gets tired or excited, then it drools a lot,” Hernandez told News 9.
In the opinion of Hernandez, Toad is absolutely perfect despite many people who say she’s ugly. And the kindhearted owner adores Toad just the same as she needed love the most!
“She’s special,” Hernandez said. “She’s one in a million.”
Realizing dogs like Toad would most likely be put down due to their deformity or injury, Hernandez eventually set up a non-profit animal rescue called Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue Society to help rescue “animals with treatable and manageable illnesses or injuries,” as stated on the organization’s Facebook page.
“Part of our goal is we say we want to save the unsaveable,” Hernandez said.
As per News9, she said they have been able to home 300 dogs so far.
For Hernandez, it seems mutual; Toad had saved her life as much as she had saved hers.
“Toad came into my life at the exact time that I needed her, and she has brought me infinite joy and happiness,” she said.
Toad surely holds a special spot in Hernandez’s heart.
She said: “Whenever I sit on the couch with all of my other dogs, everybody moves out of the way for Toad. Everyone knows that Toad gets prime snuggle spot. It sounds silly, but she is very much my companion.”
Toad would probably have suffered a miserable fate if she hadn’t found a forever home. For this reason, we thank Hernandez for giving Toad a second chance at life and shouldering that extra responsibility to care for her.