Rescuers are searching for a new forever home for a puppy born without eyes due to cruel breeding.
Due to not being able to feed her properly, her breeder brought the miniature toy schnauzer/terrier mix into a rescue shelter where she was properly cared for.
The pooch was appropriately named Teacup because of her tiny size. Sadly, due to overbreeding, she couldn't drink from a bottle as she had developed no suckle response, leading her to be dangerously underweight.
Volunteers at the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Nashville, Tennessee, are caring for her and want to share her story to warn others of the dangers of buying these overbred dogs.
Nicole Butler is the adoption and foster coordinator at the rescue center and is Teacup's foster parent until she finds a place to call home.
"I couldn't believe how tiny she was, and I was so eager to get some food in her!" Butler told SWNS about meeting the pup. "Teacup doesn't have any pain and doesn't know that she is disabled as she has never known life with vision.
"Nobody told her she's special, so she gets along like every other happy puppy except she bumps into things from time to time and then just keeps on trucking," she added. "We always say 'adopt don't shop,' but people continue to keep breeders in business despite the mantra."
Teacup's breeder gave the dog to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue on March 27, when she was just 4 weeks old.
"She was freshly groomed, but she was not getting enough food as the breeder was using a blue ear suction bulb to squirt food into her mouth," Butler said of Teacup. "It seems she was treated well, but the lady was just not trained or prepared for when things go wrong."
"She had no suckle response, or at least not a viable one to be able to drink from a bottle, and developmentally she was behind in everything from cutting teeth to drinking water on her own," she continued.
As well as being completely blind, Teacup was born with a severe bladder problem. The fur around her eye sockets also needs to be kept short to prevent any infections.
Butler, a surgery coordinator from Columbia, Tennessee, said: "What they do is take runts, a.k.a. the smallest ones, from previous litters and breed them together to create an even smaller 'Teacup' or 'Toy' size."
"Runts can sometimes have issues of their own, so breeding two of them together seems very counterintuitive to me, but toy breeds make the public at large swoon, and I'm sure they bring big bucks," Butler added of the breeding process that led to Teacup. "Sadly, money is all that matters to so many of these breeders and not the health, temperament, and overall integrity of the bloodline."
Despite this, Teacup is full of life and enjoys playing outside with her rescuers.
"She celebrates so big when she finds us," Butler said. "She also likes running around on the trampoline but no bouncing for this girl. I think she just enjoys the texture and running in circles."
Teacup is still looking for her forever home, but hopefully, the little pup won't have to wait too long.
You can donate to the rescue center and Teacup here. And please remember, it's so important to adopt rather than shop!