Local rescue warns of the dangers of breeding dogs with the merle gene

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EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) - Each member of The Noodle Gang is either vision or hearing impaired, and pretty soon they're going to be up for adoption.

It's a full house at the Turner home in Edmond.

"We have Ravioli. We have Ramen, Linguini, Fettuccini, and Ziti,” Moria Turner said.

What makes these furry friends unique is that all of them have hearing or vision issues.

The problem? That pretty merle coat can also become a cause of bad breeding.

“If you breed two merle dogs together, so if you're breeding a merle dog with another merle, their puppies have a 25% chance of being blind or deaf,” Turner said.

So how do you know if both the parents have the gene?

"If you look at them, you can see the really marbly coat then yes, that's a merle, but also there could be merle hidden in a dog that doesn't even look like a merle, so really any reputable breeder would have to have genetic testing prior to breeding."

It's a problem Moria Turner didn't know about until she fostered Luna about a year ago.

"When she's at home, she'll run around and she's fine. You don't even know that she's vision impaired. When we took her out of here and out to the lake, she kept falling off the dock and she just could not maneuver around as well,” Turner said.

Moria and her husband adopted Luna to make sure she could be cared for properly.

Now, Moria is making it her mission to help other animals who are blind or deaf by starting Happy Tails Animal Rescue.

"We are trying to start this rescue really to raise awareness in Oklahoma for this and kinds of show people that these dogs really are adoptable and live really happy lives,” Turner said.

The Noodle Gang are all Australian shepherds and will be up for adoption soon.

For more information on adopting the puppies email Moria happytailsrescuesociety@gmail.com.

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