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He might not look like your average pooch, but little Cletus has a lot of love to give!

Unfortunately, with his crooked nose, over-bite and badly hunched back, this slightly odd-looking dog didn’t have the best start in life.

Thankfully, after being found wandering alone around the streets of Los Angeles, Cletus was rescued by Best Friends Animal Society.

At the time of his rescue, Cletus was in a pretty bad way – severely undernourished and battling a nasty respiratory infection. But with the love and care of Best Friends, it wasn’t long before he was back on his paws.

And that’s when things really started to pick up for Cletus! In January 2017 he stole the hearts of couple Mark Enrietto and Summer Esslingen who decided to adopt him.

Mark explains, ‘my girlfriend summer found Cletus on Instagram because Best Friends LA posted about him. I just came home from work and she sent me the picture of Cletus and basically told me to go Best Friends LA right away and pick him up – which I did.’

‘When I got there I just fell in love with him right away and I’m pretty sure he fell in love with me too.’

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Cletus has settled in brilliantly in his new home, striking up firm friendships with the couple’s cats. Although Cletus has no problem with other dogs, some pooches can be hesitant around him because of his unusual appearance.

Mark says, ‘Cletus loves every dog but every dog doesn’t necessarily love Cletus. Because of his physical conditions, some dogs aren’t sure how to play properly with him. Whereas some other dogs do know how to properly play with him and they’ll go around having a good old time.’

As well as closely monitoring Cletus’ interactions with other dogs, Mark and Summer go above and beyond to cater for their special dog’s unique needs.

Mark says, ‘we’re able to take Cletus on walks but because of his physical condition we do need to make the walks kind of short. We can walk around our cul de sac for around 15 minutes or so before he wants to lie down and just sunbathe for the rest of the time.’

‘Because of his crocked oesophagus, food is able to get backed up in his mouth so we’re only able to feed him dry food. He can’t have any wet food, but other than that he is pretty much a normal dog!’

After falling head-over-paws for little Cletus, both Mark and Summer want to encourage other people to adopt a dog – even if they do look a little different.

Mark says, ‘you’re not only saving a dogs life but you also could be saving yours.’

Don’t forget to follow Cletus on Instagram to see more of his journey!

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