Abandoned Six-Legged ‘Mermaid’ Dog Adopted by Surf Instructors for People with Disabilities

Ariel the mermaid dog, who was born with six legs and dumped in a car park, has found her forever home — and it couldn't be more perfect

Published Time: 02.07.2024 - 18:31:18 Modified Time: 02.07.2024 - 18:31:18

Ariel the mermaid dog, who was born with six legs and dumped in a car park, has found her forever home — and it couldn't be more perfect.

Emma-Mary Webster and Ollie Bird, who teach people with disabilities how to surf at Blue Horizons Surf Club in Pembrokeshire, Wales, have taken the Cocker Spaniel, whose namesake is The Little Mermaid, according to the BBC.

The couple had lost their "lovely boy" Pippin "who was swimming in the sea and climbing rocks right up until the day before he died," and were hoping to adopt another dog following his death.

"We applied to Greenacres Rescue at the Ebbs Acres Farm in Pembrokeshire to see if they had any dogs up for adoption, not long after which a volunteer rang saying she thought she had the perfect candidate for us," Bird, 40, said of Ariel.

"She was brought to ours for a home visit and took to the place straight away, really made herself comfortable," he continued, adding: "Neither of us were at all aware we had a celebrity in our midst."

Upon adopting Ariel, the couple found her to be very popular with folks stopping and asking for a selfie. "Ariel adores the attention, not to mention beach life and splashing around in the water," Bird said.

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The spaniel also participates in the couple's inclusive surf lessons, which include "adaptive surf lessons and boat trips." accommodating those with physical and mental disabilities.

"She's always a -

big hit with whoever we take out onto the waves and she never stops wanting to play," Ollie said of Ariel's enthusiasm to join in on the lessons.

Ariel, who was born with "multiple birth defects" which included the two extra legs and two vulvas, was found in September left in a car park outside of a Pembrokeshire supermarket.

She was taken into the Greenacres Rescue and evaluated by a local veterinary practice, which found her to be normal "internally," according to a Facebook post. They named her after the fictional mermaid since her "extra legs" resembled a tail.

"The extra appendages do not impede her ability to move, although because they are on her pelvis they will cause damage over time," Greenacres' Mikey Lawlor toldNewsweek at the time.

People touched around the world by Ariel's story contributed to help pay for her surgery, raising about £15,000 ($19,000).

In January, Ariel underwent surgery to remove her "extra legs" and was "doing really well" post-surgery, the Langford Vets Small Animal Referral Hospital shared on Facebook.

"The procedure went very well, and Ariel took it all in her stride," the hospital noted.

Surgeon Aaron Lutchman also told the BBC about Ariel's recovery. "She's bounced back and she's a happy little dog and we're hoping she's going to go on to lead a fabulous little life," he told the outlet.

"She's got her own little character and even though she's had a tough start in life she really has done well to come through this as she has... if we can do what we can to help then that's just absolutely brilliant."

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