A sweet dog named Picasso who was nearly euthanized after being abandoned because of his ‘twisted face’ has been given a new lease on life thanks to a kind-hearted animal lover who rescued the pup from a high-kill shelter where he would have faced certain death.
Four-year-old Picasso, who lives in Eugene, Ohio, was born with a condition called wry mouth, which causes one side of the jaw to grow more than the other, leading to a distorted look that closely resembles the pieces of art created by his namesake, Pablo Picasso.
The medical condition can happen to a variety of other animal species as well as dogs and doesn’t cause any pain – but it does make it much harder for pets to be adopted.
Thankfully, he and his brother Pablo were both taken in by Liesl Wilhardt, 52, who runs a dog rescue called Luvable – where she also looks after dozens of other animals who have been abandoned, including a pot-belly pig named Pax, who has become an unlikely, yet very close, pal to Picasso.
Despite his appearance, the pup is just like every other dog and can eat, drink and bark – although he is a bit of a messy eater and can only lick the left side of his face.
Liesl said: ‘Thankfully, his condition is just cosmetic and he doesn’t need any kind of corrective surgery, all we had to do was remove a top canine that was digging into the bottom of his mouth, due to the misalignment.
‘Otherwise, he is a very normal and happy pup.’
The adorable dog even has his own Instagram account, where he entertains over 239,000 followers.
Liesl said: ‘Picasso’s really unusual face got a lot of attention when I began to post videos of him on our rescue’s Instagram.
‘Nobody had ever seen a dog quite like him.’
The devoted animal lover, who lives on the land where the center is located, spends several hours a day preparing food for the animals, feeding them and cleaning.
Many of the dogs have a variety of health conditions and need surgery or amputations, which she pays for.
Liesl has employed six people to help care for the animals full-time, all of whom regularly take the dogs out for daily hikes.
Other volunteers come throughout the week to walk the dogs, play with the pigs and socialize with the cats and kittens.
Liesl added: ‘Life for me at my animal shelter is just that – a life, and a lifestyle.