We occasionally hear or read animal abuse and neglect stories that are so horrifying, it’s hard to believe they’re true. These stories are hard to read, but it’s important to stay informed about what’s going on in the world of animals so that we can keep holding people accountable whenever possible. This poor sweet little lady was found after being abandoned, and she was not only pregnant but also paralyzed. Anemic from a devastating flea infestation, she was barely alive. It was apparent that she had been forcibly bred despite being paralyzed. Even worse, when her former owners found out that to give birth, she would need a costly cesarean section, they dumped her.
When Maria was found, she was terrified, malnourished, and full of infection, but her will to live was fierce, and we often see that in expectant mothers of every species. She was thinking of her little ones. Maria had no feeling in her hind end, from the ribcage down to her back legs, and she couldn’t use her hind legs at all. The veterinarians who were consulted said that she had been paralyzed for many months at least and probably even longer than that. However, on August 14th, 2014 Maria delivered seven perfect babies by C section. Since her name was Maria, her caretakers quickly decided to dub the entire family the “Von Dapp Family.”
The name is a play on the name of the family in “The Sound of Music,” the Von Trapp Family. Maria is the nun-turned-governess who became the stepmother of a brood of children when she married their father, Captain Von Trapp. It seemed only natural for the caretakers of the puppies to name them after the children in the movie. So the pups were named Friedrich, Gretl, Werner, Liesl, Louisa, Kurt, and Rolfe. These are completely apt names for a family that had to climb over huge barriers just to survive. The caption to the video says that, happily, all of the pups have been adopted.
Maria still has some work to do, but she’s getting her strength back and rehabilitating herself. She still drags her legs when she’s excited or tired, and she stumbles sometimes, but she can feel, she can wag her tail, she can walk, and she can even run. Maria’s story had a happy ending, just like “The Sound of Music.”