Dr. Melissa Shapiro is a small animal house call veterinarian, life-long animal welfare advocate, the driving force behind the social media phenomenon Piglet, the deaf blind pink puppy, and author of the forthcoming book Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family.
In 2017, Piglet, a deaf blind dachshund/Chihuahua mix, was rescued from a hoarding situation in Georgia and transported to Connecticut where Dr. Shapiro and her husband, Warren Shapiro, planned to foster him until he was ready to move on to his forever home. One of the most anxious dogs Dr. Shapiro had ever encountered, the traumatized Piglet weighed under two pounds upon his welcome into the Shapiro household—which included their three college-aged kids, plus six other rescued dogs and four birds.
After weeks of reassurance, and lots of love, Piglet connected, gained confidence, and his extraordinary spirit emerged. Curious, engaged, and incredibly eager to learn, Piglet quickly became part of the family. Dr. Shapiro soon forged a powerful bond with Piglet, allowing the two to communicate without sound or visual cues.
What started out as a few simple Facebook posts of Piglet and his pack rapidly evolved into a global celebration of Piglet’s infectiously positive mindset. In her book, Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family, Dr. Shapiro shares the heartwarming story of the special little puppy with a purpose to teach the power of empathy, love, and kindness.
Alongside her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Shapiro creates and publishes all content for her popular social media pages that feature Piglet, the deaf blind pink puppy. In 2017, Dr. Shapiro created the Piglet Mindset educational outreach program, through which she shares Piglet’s incredible story to teach growth mindset, acceptance, inclusion, empathy, and kindness, both virtually and in person, in schools and classrooms across the US, and world.
She is also the cofounder and CEO of Piglet International Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting Piglet Mindset educational outreach as well as raising awareness for rescued and disabled animals through education and fundraising.
Dr. Shapiro and Piglet are sought after speakers. Whether visiting with students and teachers, appearing at fundraisers, speaking at veterinary conferences, or presenting at corporate events, they captivate and inspire with their incredible story of resilience and hope.
- What’s So Special About a Piglet Mindset?
- Reflections of a House Call Veterinarian
- How to Train Your Dog, Your Husband, Your Wife, or Your Kids (With Kindness, Love, and a Few Other Things)
- Pets With Disabilities as a Model for a Growth Mindset
- What Does a Tiny Deaf and Blind Dog Have to Do With Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving YOUR Goals?