Wag, Wine and Whiskers fundraiser to feature famous puppy pair

Date Published: 
May 5, 2017

Rescued bulldog puppies Oslo and Ivar will appear at a fundraiser May 6 to support Grass Roots Rescue, which rescued the dogs from a breeder who was selling them at a reduced price due to deformities in their legs. The pair have since had surgeries to correct the genetic condition, at a cost of $4,000 each, and are now recovering. They and fellow rescue animals looking for forever homes will appear at the Rehoboth fundraiser this weekend.Rescued bulldog puppies Oslo and Ivar will appear at a fundraiser May 6 to support Grass Roots Rescue, which rescued the dogs from a breeder who was selling them at a reduced price due to deformities in their legs. The pair have since had surgeries to correct the genetic condition, at a cost of $4,000 each, and are now recovering. They and fellow rescue animals looking for forever homes will appear at the Rehoboth fundraiser this weekend. (Photo courtesy Grass Roots Rescue)Ivar and Oslo may not be as famous as April the giraffe, but they’re already making their presence known on social media, and they’ll be the stars at a local animal-centered fundraising event on Saturday, May 6, in Rehoboth Beach.

The two rescued bulldogs have taken local social media by storm in recent weeks, due to their rescue by the Grass Roots Rescue organization after they were born with skeletal issues that required major surgery. Their back legs are splayed due to a condition known as “swimmer’s syndrome,” but once the dogs were in the group’s hands, the condition of their front legs was actually more concerning.

Their front legs were at 90-degree angles, a congenital defect that their veterinarian termed “severe subluxation of their elbows,” Grass Roots Rescue co-founder Karli Swope said.

“We found out about them when several people on my friends list tagged me in the post where they were being sold by the breeders’ daughter for ‘$800 [or best offer].’ I messaged her and offered her $500 for the pair, and she agreed,” said Swope.

The group received the dogs on March 7, and four days later “their slew of vet appointments began,” Swope said.

After trying to find local veterinarians to do the surgery the two pups required, they ended up at Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group in Annapolis, Md., where they underwent surgery in early April. The two surgeries cost about $8,000, which the rescue covered and is trying to raise funds to replenish so that their ongoing medical costs and those of the group’s other rescues can be paid.

Now sporting colorful casts on all four of their collective front legs, Ivar and Oslo are making progress in the loving care of their foster families, Swope said.

“They are doing better,” she said. “We had a bit of s scare with Ivar, but he seems to be on the mend now. The pins come out of their elbows on the 9th. After that, they will still be in some kind of cast for another month or so.”

The Wag, Wine & Whiskers event on May 6 will be Ivar and Oslo’s public debut, but they’re not quite ready to be considered for adoption. However, there will also be other rescued pups there to meet who will be available for adoption.

The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at the Cultured Pearl Liquor Co., 305A Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach. Proceeds will benefit GRR’s animal-rescue efforts. The wine tasting will be presented by Laura Lamprecht of Specialty Wines. The rain date will be Sunday, May 7.

GRR is a Sussex and Kent County-based animal rescue operated entirely by volunteers. All donations go directly toward animal care. The group’s main objectives are to: rescue dogs and cats and get them adopted; spay or neuter and provide lifesaving veterinary care for rescued dogs and cats; and provide vet care for pets of people with limited income when funds allow. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.grrde.org.