OCEAN CITY – A beloved bulldog with special needs, and nearly one million Facebook followers, took his first trip to Ocean City last week.
Munster, an 82-pound English bulldog with spina bifida, made his way from Frederick, Md., to Ocean City last week with owner Glenda Mosner and family to get his first glimpse of the ocean.
“A lot of people didn’t believe he could live a happy life,” Mosner said. “But he lives life to the fullest.”
Munster, known to many as “Mr. Fancy Pants,” was born with spina bifida and, unlike his canine counterparts, requires medical supplies, supplements and GoodNights diapers on a daily basis.
“The spina bifida is a spinal condition,” Mosner said. “He has no control of his potty habits and that requires him to wear diapers … Every two hours for the past six and a half years I’ve been changing diapers and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I would do it again.”
Six and a half years ago, Munster’s breeder from Montana reached out to Mosner after hearing of her interest in rescuing dogs born with spina bifida. With the help of a local radio station, social media and Pet Airways, Mosner and her supporters raised enough money to fly Munster to his forever home.
In the years since, Munster’s Facebook page has amassed nearly one million followers from around the world.
“All I wanted to do was share pictures of my dog who was just as normal as any other dog, but he had ‘fancy pants,’” Mosner said. “I wanted to show them it’s not as hard as people thought. It’s like taking care of a baby. I wanted to show them how I did it.”
Mosner said she considers Munster “everybody’s bulldog” and often uses his Facebook page to update fans on his condition and daily activities.
When he was 2 years old, for example, Munster underwent multiple surgeries to treat a life-threatening illness. Mosner said within minutes of posting on his surgery, fans had paid for his treatment.
“It was about 17 minutes later and there was over $8,000 in the bank in his PayPal account …,” she said. “Money goes directly into an account that is linked to two different vets.”
While Munster continues to receive in-kind and monetary donations for his diapers and treatment, Mosner said much of the money brought in through his Facebook page goes to support “Munster’s Mission.”
“He’s on a mission to raise awareness for animals with special needs, but we didn’t limit it to that,” she said. “We’re on a mission to help those in need, no matter what it may be for.”
Donna Nicholls, an animal rights activist from Australia who runs Munster’s Facebook page, said Munster’s Mission has partnered with several organizations and fellow special needs pets to “paw it forward.”
In recent years, for example, Munster’s Mission partnered with a special need’s cat called Blacky the Wheelchair Cat to fundraise for an orphanage in Kenya. Through their efforts, enough money was raised to purchase playground equipment for the children.
Munster has also used his platform to raise money for Homeless with Hounds, a group that provides shelter for homeless individuals and their pets, and share ongoing fundraisers.
Last week’s trip to Ocean City, made possible by one of Munster’s fans, served as a meet-and-greet of sorts. In addition to meeting the resort’s residents and visitors, Munster, Mosner and her family also had the opportunity to meet Nicholls, who flew 22 hours from Australia to meet “Mr. Fancy Pants” in person.
“He’s living proof that animals with disabilities don’t deserve a death sentence,” Nicholls said. “People have paid to help Munster. Now Munster is paying it forward.”
For more information, visit the “Munster – Mr. Fancy Pants” Facebook page.