Six-legged dog found in Wales has surgery to remove extra limbs

Spaniel pup Ariel named after Disney’s The Little Mermaid as partly fused extra back legs said to resemble a mermaid’s tail

A six-legged dog who was found abandoned in a car park in Wales has undergone surgery to remove her extra limbs.

Ariel, a spaniel puppy, was found in Pembroke last September and, after a fundraising appeal, was able to have surgery. The dog was taken in by the Greenacres Rescue charity, near Haverfordwest, and has been cared for by a foster family.

She was named after the character from Disney’s film The Little Mermaid because her partly fused extra back legs were said to resemble a mermaid’s tail.

Ariel, who was born with multiple birth defects, was operated on at Langford Vets small animal referral hospital in Somerset.


“Her additional limbs have been removed. Thankfully, having the CT [computerised tomography] images meant they did not discover anything unexpected, and although it wasn’t a regular amputation, it was ‘uneventful’,” the charity said.

“When we spoke, she was in recovery, having lots of love and fuss from the nursing team but all be reassured she’s doing well. We really hope she will now have an easy and quick recovery.”

Mikey Lawlor, the founder and manager of Greenacres Rescue, told the BBC: “There were two procedures which lasted about two hours, but both went fine. The next day she was up, walking around and eating and drinking.

“Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed she doesn’t get any infections, but she really is in the best hands.”

It is hoped Ariel can be discharged this weekend to return home to her foster family in west Wales.

“Then, after she’s had several weeks of physiotherapy and recovery, we’ll see about finding her a forever home,” Mr Lawlor said.

He said the response to Ariel’s story had been “incredible”, with calls and emails from as far away as Australia.

“I just can’t say enough of a thank-you to everyone who’s contributed to helping her,” he said.

Vicki Black, the Langford Vets hospital director, said: “Ariel was a complicated little dog whose care required close collaboration across a number of our specialist-led teams including orthopaedics, soft-tissue surgery, anaesthesia and radiology.

“We are delighted such a lovely dog has recovered from her surgery well. As part of the University of Bristol, we are a centre committed to career-long learning and are proud to innovate and treat pets like Ariel.

“Ariel deservedly has many devoted supporters. It was a great pleasure to treat her and work with Greenacres Rescue.” - Guardian