Smuggler was rescued by US Border Patrol Agents near Laredo, Texas when alleged smugglers attempted to bring him into the country illegally. He was confined to a wire dog crate so small that he couldn’t turn around. And quite naturally, he was named Smuggler.
He had been recently declawed, and at 4 months old was 20 pounds underweight—just over half the weight he should have been. A veterinarian in Laredo kept Smuggler for 10 days to build him up. When the cub was was given a clean bill of health, the vet drove him to In-Sync. After being at In-Sync a month, keepers discovered bone fragments protruding from the early declaw. X-rays at In-Sync’s vet indicated that the declaw procedure had been done by pliers breaking the first joint of every toe and pulling the claw from the toe. Surgery was required to repair the bones and give him relief. Here, he plays in the water after being at In-Sync several months.