Rivi was one of 205 doomed dogs airlifted from Puerto Rico to Florida for a second chance at life. In Puerto Rico, home to 300,000 stray dogs and millions of cats, shelters often have massive overpopulation problems and spay-and-neuter programs are limited, according to the HSUS website. Facing a shortage of funding, some shelters in the area have a 95-percent euthanasia rate — and Rivi’s abnormality is likely what made him a candidate.
Though little is known about Rivi’s background, rescuers believe he was born extremely bow-legged, an abnormality that can be breeding-related, or a result of poor nutrition and lack of calcium (especially with larger dogs). In puppies, the condition could also be the result of an accident, such as being hit by a car or a severe fall, according to PetMD.