Hundreds of dogs have probably walked through the doors of the Detroit Dog Rescue, but the Michigan shelter has never welcomed a dog like Cody.
The beautiful gray Pit Bull mix is a hermaphrodite, which means that Cody has both male and female genitalia.
“In my experience, I’ve never seen it before,” the shelter’s executive director, Kristina Rinaldi, told the Detroit Free Press.
The rare condition is not necessarily what led Cody to the no-kill shelter, but it is something that will need to be addressed before he can be put up for adoption. But before Cody is either spayed or neutered — or potentially both — he needs to be treated for pneumonia and a possible case of distemper.
Rinaldi said that Dog Rescue staff members have been consulting with specialists at Michigan State University to determine what the next steps might be; according to CBS Detroit, some hermaphrodite dogs are neutered to prevent serious medical issues like prostate cancer from developing.
Although Cody isn’t quite ready to be adopted, Rinaldi is already thinking about the dog’s next move. She has considered using Cody as a therapy dog for transgender children and teens.
“Maybe we can use Cody as an example that there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s not strange, it happens to the best animals and the best people,” she told the news station. “Maybe Cody can help some other people deal with some feelings they may be dealing with.”
Cody’s future might be slightly uncertain at the moment, but Rinaldi has stressed that he is a completely normal dog, and can have a great life with someone. His surgery (or surgeries) and medical treatments are estimated to cost roughly $3,000; the shelter has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise some of that money.
Good luck, Cody.