V-Dog Spotlight: Byler & Matey's Rescue Stories

Meet Byler and Matey, two rescue pups who, after surviving trauma and surgery, are thriving on their vegan diet. Their mom, Jaci, shares their stories with v-dog. 

Byler is the larger tan tripod (he still had the leg in a few of the pictures) and Matey is the little white and brown nugget. Byler is 8 and Matey is 5.

Byler came to me as a foster with a broken leg. The vet said based on the extent of the break and the fact that there was no other physical trauma to his body, someone must have snapped it. He was very fearful for a long time and it took a lot of training to socialize him with people but he loves pretty much everyone now.

The shelter he was taken to deemed him “too ugly” to live and was planning to euthanize him after a vet did experimental surgery on his leg just to see if he could do it (he wasn’t experienced in bone surgeries and wasn’t actually trying to help him). The plate that was put in his leg shifted over time and he ended up losing it in 2016.

Matey was hit by a car during Chicago’s polar vortex of February 2014. It’s a miracle he survived the accident at 3 months and approximately 3 lbs let alone being out during such frigid temps. He was deemed a “vicious monster” and I was told by the rescue I was with that if I wouldn’t commit to him he’d be euthanized.

Clearly you can see by the pictures he’s a monster. He suffers from brain damage as the result of the accident. He’s fearful of many things but they aren’t consistent and I never know what might trigger an episode. His leg was broken and his pelvis was fractured. He’s made a full recovery and even with his crazy quirks, he’s amazing.

Both boys have been vegan since I took them in as fosters. Byler gets sick whenever he’s had meat based dog food and refuses to eat it now. He’ll sniff it and walk away. Before his amputation, we had bloodwork done to make sure he was healthy enough to undergo such a major surgery and my vet was shocked at how perfect all of his levels were on a vegan diet.

Special thanks to Jaci for sharing her pups' stories! Learn more about the benefits of a vegan diet for dogs here, and meet hundreds of other thriving vegan dogs here


V-dog is a San Francisco-based dog food company that makes animal products without animal products. Since 2005, thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes have been thriving on our food. Check out their stories here! Our kibble meets AAFCO standards, is recommended by veterinarians, and free of byproducts, fillers, and common allergens. Learn more about what we do at v-dog.com.

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