Peel dog rescue No Pup Cleft Behind (NPCB) is an organisation which rescues puppies born with a fairly common congenital defect, cleft palate.
Unfortunately, it's a matter of life and death for pups born with cleft palate.
Without specialised care, they're at a higher risk of respiratory infection, suffocation and starvation.
Because of this, many breeders and vets look to euthanise pups born with the condition.
With a large number of rescues struggling financially, NPCB founder Leesa Kingi said she was "really grateful" for the passionate supporters who donate.
"We've never been in a position where we've had to put a surgery on hold, and I hope we never would be," she said.
NPCB was started by Ms Kingi, a mum and animal lover, and Kelly, a vet nurse in Waroona, in 2019, after a friend's dog had a puppy born with cleft palate.
"I didn't even know what it was, and I didn't know what to do, but after talking to Kelly I realised how common it was.
"A few weeks later Kelly called me to ask if I could care for another pup."
In the three years NPCB has been running, they've saved 80 pups, with 11 currently in their care.
The organisation has grown to a point of needing a new place to operate out of.
Running the rescue organisation has taken over Ms Kingi's life and home.
There are puppy pens in several rooms of her house, to help raise and care for the vulnerable pups.
She juggles hourly feedings and vet visits with being a mum and a wife, as well as part time work for a family business.
As does Kelly, who is also a mum, working part time as a vet nurse.
Ms Kingi recently bought some land in order to be closer to Kelly and the vets in Waroona.
She's currently fundraising to place two shipping containers on the property, which she wants to fit out into an admin and adoption area, and have the other container as a post-surgery space.
Ms Kingi said she'd love to have a cleft-friendly puppy playground, and compared them to raising babies or children.
While she works towards expanding NPCB's location, money for surgeries, food, formula and other supplies take priority.
The pups have a flat rate adoption fee, and includes their cleft surgery, vaccinations and de-sexing, but Ms Kingi said there can be a huge variation between surgery costs, which can be anywhere from $3000-$6000.
NPCB releases an annual calendar to raise funds for the pups, and this year they will be selling diaries for the first time.
Ms Kingi said there was a misconception that cleft palate was due to bad breeding, and that pups will suffer with their defect, but with surgery and dedication, they can go on to live happy and normal lives.
She said it was stressful and upsetting knowing that some pups wouldn't make it into NPCB's care due to this misconception.
"I know we don't get all of them, which is hard."
As the NPCB team are all volunteers, juggling work and children, Ms Kingi said the team can feel stretched.
"You can't say no, because you know what the alternative is for them."
She said the satisfaction of watching the dogs grow up, noticing their unique personality traits and seeing them get adopted out into their 'forever homes' made it all worth it.
"They're like my children.
"They make us laugh and cry."
To offer your support, head to www.nopupcleftbehind.com/
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