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This Poor Little Pup Was Lined Up To Be Shot. Then A Woman Stepped In When She Learned Why

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Most people become filled with joy at the sight of a puppy — everyone except the breeder of this story’s Australian Shepherd pup, named Keller. When Keller was brought into this world, her breeders were less than thrilled, allegedly having made plans to shoot her.

Fortunately, after having learnt of the poor pup’s shocking circumstances, a woman stepped in to help. She has now made it her life’s mission to advocate for a cause that helps save many, many more pups just like our beloved Keller.

1.  Amanda Fuller

Amanda has made a career out of caring for animals. Not only did she step in when poor Keller was most in need, she’s also been working as a veterinary technician in her home state of Maryland. As luck would have it, Keller turned out to be in exactly the right place at the right time.

2. Love at First Sight.

As Amanda Fuller was scrolling through her Facebook feed one day, she came across a photo of a little white puppy that was in need of a home. Already having one Australian Shepherd named Kai, she quickly fell in love at the first sight of Keller’s photo.

3.  The Puppy Search.

“I was just looking for a second dog,” she said. “I knew I wanted another Australian Shepherd, so I had started contacting some breeders and reached out to some different rescues.”

Immediately after stumbling across the rescue organization’s listing of the rare, white colored Australian Shepherd, she felt compelled to contact them.

4.  The Genetic Disorder.

It just so happens that the Aussie pup suffered from a genetic disorder caused by improper breeding. Australian Shepherds who are white like Keller can only be born after breeding together two merles with speckled dark and light coats. When breeding two mates with this coloring, there is a 50% chance the puppies will inherit the same popular, dappled coloring, which is highly desired by breeders.

5.  The Unfortunate Odds.

On the other hand, 25% of the time, a puppy is born without the coveted merle fur and of a single color instead. The remaining quarter of the time results in a puppy with a double merle gene, leaving them no pigmentation at all, just white.

6. Deaf and Blind.

Not only does the fur change in double merle pups, but they frequently end up deaf and have difficulties seeing. Often times they are born with eyes that are too small or possess defects.

7. The Good and Bad News.

The good news is these disorders are completely preventable! Reputable breeders typically will not allow two merle Australian Shepherds to breed together due to the heightened risk of birth defects. The bad news — less scrupulous breeders will still try to do so, which is a great concern for the well being of their puppies.

8. Ridding of the Puppies.

Since these types of puppies tend to be quite undesirable due to their health risks, breeders have found unfortunate ways to rid of them. Some will leave them abandoned at shelters. Others will pawn them off on dog owners who are unaware of the problems these dogs tend to face. They’ve even been known to come up with far worse methods to get these puppies off their hands.

9. Keller’s Fate.

Sadly, this was the fate Keller was faced with. Amanda soon learned that the puppy she would eventually adopt had a dark history. The individuals who rescued Keller “had taken her from the breeder when she was five weeks old because the breeder was going to shoot her,” Amanda said.

10. Adopting Keller.

Although Amanda was quite experienced caring for dogs, she couldn’t help but feel a bit of anxiety after learning Keller was deaf and potentially blind. She ultimately decided that she was up for the challenge and adopted Keller!

11. A Great Addition.

As it turned out, Keller became a greater addition to Amanda’s family, more than she could ever have imagined.

“Keller and Kai got along great,” she said of the dogs’ initial introduction.

Because they were getting along so well, Amanda went ahead and brought Keller to Kai’s agility training class.

12. Excelling On The Course.

“My trainer was like, ‘Well, I’ve never had a deaf puppy in my class before, but bring her along. Worst case scenario, she can just watch,” Amanda said.

Much to her surprise, Keller excelled on the agility course.

13. No Distractions.

Amanda said that Keller’s inability to hear actually benefitted her training. Keller was able to pay more attention without any background noise distracting her. Finding an activity that Keller enjoyed became a huge inspiration for Amanda.

14. The Final Moment.

In fact, this was the final moment that convinced Amanda to champion the adoption of double merles like Keller. Coupled with the fact that heartless breeders were considering disposing of these amazing, intelligent animals in such inhumane ways, she couldn’t stomach the thought of not doing anything to alleviate these problems in the future.

15. Keller’s Cause.

She and one of her friends, whom also had a white Aussie, founded an organization called “Keller’s Cause”. Keller’s Cause website states that,

“Our mission is to change the world for double merles by educating, advocating, and promoting the adoption of special needs dogs.”

16. Educating Others.

Through Keller’s Cause, Amanda and her friend help educate others about their dogs’ unique genetic traits in hopes that their efforts will inspire others to consider adopting a pet with special needs. “Disabilities are only what you make them,” Amanda said. “If you take that dog and treat it like a normal dog, it will succeed.”

17. Changing the Policies.

In addition, they aim to teach people about the consequences of breeding two Aussie merles as well. The American Kennel Club, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diseases in all dogs, does not have a policy against this particular practice. Amanda is hoping to change that.

18. Her Third Dog.

Keller’s Cause now has over 8,800 followers on Facebook, where the organization shares images of double merles in need of adoption and posts success stories of other’s who have brought special needs pups into their lives. Meanwhile, the organizations mission has become a lifestyle for Amanda and she has since adopted her third dog — another double merle.

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