People will go to remarkable lengths to help each other overcome physical disabilities. From online support networks to funding for treatments, society has made great strides in providing assistance to those struggling with such obstacles. Unfortunately, the same efforts are not often extended to animals. Despite the numerous benefits that dogs and cats provide their families, many of these pets are sadly put down simply because treatments are too expensive.
Perhaps the best way to change this unfortunate fact is by showing people just how far animals can come if they are afforded the proper care and support. One inspiring and heartwarming example of such assistance being provided for an animal is Hugo. Hugo is a puppy who, like any other, wants nothing more than to live and play with a happy family. Unfortunately, he suffers from a condition called swimmer puppy syndrome. This is a strange condition that causes puppies to lose control of their legs, which they flail as if they were swimming.
Hindered by this genetic condition, Hugo was left unable to walk. As he was found on the street, it appears likely that a breeder simply tossed him away after seeing that he was unhealthy. Despite these early challenges, Hugo’s story is actually surprisingly uplifting. After likely being rejected by his breeder, this courageous puppy saw his fortune turn around when he was found and brought to the Fulton County Animal Services.
While certainly an improvement over living on the streets, this shelter was simply not equipped to provide care for a dog with health issues as severe as Hugo’s. Luckily, Audrey Shoemaker, a manager at the shelter, went the extra mile for Hugo and called another rescue. This rescue, Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, was run by Jason Flatt. Flatt listened to Shoemaker and decided to try to help Hugo as much as possible.
The most important development in the puppy’s journey was when he was fostered Elizabeth LaBauve-Williams, who owns The Tucker Farm, an animal sanctuary. This sanctuary specializes in assisting animals facing significant health challenges. Even so, LaBauve-Williams knew that Hugo’s condition posed a great challenge. He arrived in dire straits, riddled with fleas and unable to walk.
Amazingly, Hugo’s ability to walk improved drastically in only a few weeks. To address his condition, he received many leg massages and even went to water therapy. Perhaps most important, however, was the support that he received from two children, 3 year-old Adelyn and 1.5 year-old Jane, and another puppy named Huppy. The children looked after Hugo throughout his rehab, and Huppy provided the friendship to keep Hugo happy and playful. Thanks to the long list of individuals who took an interest in helping the puppy, he is now looking forward to finding his forever home after some more rehab.
Hugo’s case is very inspirational, as it reveals the incredible impact that can be made when people show the kind of care and compassion to animals that they would to each other. While his future was at one point very uncertain, Hugo is now a strong and happy dog that is well on his way to being ready for adoption. If there were more people who cared for animals the way Hugo’s rescuers, Shoemaker, Flatt, LaBauve-Williams, Adelyn, and Jane did for him, this type of transformation could be seen far more often.