AN ANIMAL welfare group got more than it bargained for when it took in a stray puppy only to find that the pooch was a hermaphrodite.
The discovery surprised staff at the Galway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA), who initially thought the pup had a hernia.
However, a visit to the vet revealed that the lurcher, pictured, had both male and female organs. The puppy, who was nicknamed 'He-She', is now being cared for by a foster family over the holidays while a new home is sought.
"She was found dumped under a car in an estate. We first thought she had a hernia but when we brought her to the vet, they couldn't believe it. She has both girly parts and testicles; apparently it's extremely rare," said Emma O'Brien of the GSPCA.
While the pup will be raised as a girl, she will have to be both spayed and neutered. The GSPCA is now seeking a permanent home for He-She, who is happily answering to 'Molly' at her foster home. However, it may end up in the UK.
"We find it very difficult to home lurchers. Most of our dogs have to be sent to the UK. People think they will be too much work but they are very laidback," said Ms O'Brien.
The GSPCA cared for more than 1,200 animals this year.