Some may call Sophie, a Staffordshire terrier mix who was born with a cleft lip, “defective,” but new owner, Alicia Simatos, thinks that she is just perfect. Simatos saw Sophie’s photo on a Facebook posting by the Humane Society of West Michigan and knew that she needed to meet her.
On December 7, the animal shelter alerted Facebook followers that the five-year-old shelter dog now had a home of her own:
Sophie has been ADOPTED! Alicia saw Sophie on Facebook, thanks to all your sharing, and had to come in to meet her. Sophie’s adopter, Alicia, works at the Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation of Smiles, where Sophie will be visiting often as an Office Dog!
Days before, the shelter had expressed disbelief that the 35 pound “pocket pittie” hadn’t found a home yet. The shelter staff stated, “HSWM volunteers and staff member cannot believe Sophie is STILL up for adoption! She is the sweetest girl! She has lived previously with other dogs and also seems to do well with respectful children. Sophie loves to cuddle, give kisses, and do zoomies.”
It turns out that Sophie must have been waiting for Simatos to find her. Not only does Sophie’s new owner volunteer for the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles, but she is the mother of a four-month-old baby who was also born with a cleft lip and palate, reported MLive.
Simatos told the news agency about the first time Sophie met baby Michael, “She climbed right into my lap. When Michael had a baby meltdown, Sophie came closer. She didn’t shy away. She is super soft with him. She knows.”
The non-profit that Simatos volunteers for seeks out shelter dogs who have cleft lips…after rescuing them, the organization hopes to not only help them get surgery to repair their cleft lips, but also, to help some of the dogs complete training to become therapy dogs.
The animal shelter confirmed to Facebook fans that Sophie will be one of the dogs selected to undergo therapy dog training – they wrote:
Alicia also plans on training Sophie to become a therapy dog, where she’ll be able to visit children in the hospital that are going through cleft lip surgeries. We could not be more happy for Sophie and her new family.
Rachel Mancuso, the nonprofit’s CEO and founder, told MLive that the organization hopes to expand the new pet program. She said, “We really want to save these dogs. They can make such a difference.”
Learn more about the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles here.
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