Harper The Deformed Puppy, Saved From Trash, Learns To Walk And Run

10/04/2011 01:44 pm ET | Updated Dec 04, 2011

Harper -- the deformed puppy who was found in a trash bag and couldn't walk without her front legs splaying out -- has since learned to walk, run and swim, Harper's caregiver Erica Daniel said on the TODAY show.

Daniel, founder of the pit-bull rescue organization Dolly's Foundation, discovered Harper on Aug. 31 in a trash bag at a puppy sale held in a Florida parking lot. Harper has "swimmer's puppy syndrome," and was unable to lift her head or walk.

From TODAY:

The formal name of Harper's disorder, pectus excavatum, causes puppies to lie flat on their chests with their legs perpetually splayed out, as if they were humans -- or perhaps frogs -- swimming through water.

But after massages and hydrotherapy, Harper is showing a lot of progress and can now do all the things that healthy puppies can do, Daniel told Matt Lauer on TODAY.

"She has a normal life -- she has a funny walk -- but she runs almost like a normal dog," Daniel told Lauer.

Harper isn't available for adoption, as she will likely be adopted by someone from within the Dolly's Foundation organization, Daniel said.

If you are interested in adopting a puppy, check out PetFinder.com or the ASPCA, which both offer resources to help you find a pet in need of a home.

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