Abandoned, Paralyzed Dog Learns to Love and Walk Again
Sometimes, pet ownership is harder than people have imagined. They get a cute, healthy puppy and it seems that there are some great times ahead for the dog and all the family. When things go wrong, it can come as a shock to some dog owners and they do not know how to cope with the situation. For example, if a dog suddenly becomes ill, injured, or disabled, they may not have the skills, the time, or the financial means to continue caring for the dog. Unfortunately, this leads to many dog owners surrendering their dogs to a local rescue shelter. In many cases, this can result in the euthanasia of the dog because it is too difficult to rehome them.
Starfish is an example of a dog that was handed over to a shelter due to her disability. According to I Heart Dogs, Starfish had suffered an injury that left her hind legs paralyzed, although the nature of the accident is unknown. Two weeks after her accident, Starfish’s family surrendered her to a local rescue shelter as they were unable to care for her. This meant that for the previous two weeks, Starfish had really suffered due to her debilitating injury. She had been in pain, unable to move, and had been left to soil herself and lie in her own feces.
Despite the terrible time she was going through, Starfish remained a happy dog. Even when she was handed over to the animal shelter, she seemed to maintain a positive attitude and the staff said they could see the kindness and love glowing from her big brown eyes. The shelter where she was initially sent did not have the resources to care for Starfish in the long-term, so it was important that they found another shelter that was willing to take her. Despite the tireless work of one of the volunteers, no shelter was willing to accept Starfish.
This was because Starfish’s injury was so significant that she would need care with every aspect of her daily life. There was also the fact that they would need to either rehome Starfish or care for her in the long-term to consider. This was a big task for any shelter to undertake. Eventually, a shelter that was willing to accept Starfish was found. Second Chance Rescue NYC heard about Starfish’s case and they said that they were willing to accept the dog and care for her until a forever home was found.
Despite their willingness to take on her case, they had initially been reluctant. They admitted in a social media post on Facebook that it was a big risk for any shelter to take on a dog that would need a wheelchair as these dogs are harder to rehome and this leads to them spending extended periods at a shelter. Finding a forever home for wheelchair dogs is particularly tricky, and they are often the hardest dogs to rehome. Most people want a healthy dog as they need less care and are less likely to incur large medical bills in the future. The potential needs and costs of a dog with a disability is something that many people find off-putting. Thankfully, there are some kindhearted dog lovers who are willing to take the chance, just like Second Chance Rescue NYC.
The first step to finding a forever home for Starfish was to get her mobile. To achieve this, she would need a custom cart that would wheel her back legs along while she walked with her front legs. This would give the dog some independence and allow her to take herself to the garden to relieve herself and to get around the house. Custom carts are expensive, and the shelter did not have the funds needed. Therefore, the shelter used their Facebook page to request donations to give Starfish the chance of a relatively normal life. Soon, donations were flooding in from people who were touched by the poor dog’s story. It seemed that Starfish had a lot of people who wanted to support her.
The donations meant that they were able to arrange for Starfish to have a consultation with Dr. Terry, who is a vet working with the shelter. Other than being paralyzed, the results of the evaluation showed that Starfish was a healthy dog. This meant that they were able to fit the dog with a custom cart. To help her adapt to using the cart, Starfish also received lots of support from the team at The Lake Hartwell Hospital who supported her through physical rehabilitation therapy. Although the rehab was hard work, Starfish never gave up and she approached every challenge with courage.
Jennifer Brooks, the President of Second Chance Rescue has said that they are all thrilled that Starfish’s rehabilitation has gone so well. It now means that she can get around just as well as any other dog. Due to her progress, it allowed the shelter to start searching for a forever home for Starfish. There was some concern that they would struggle to find Starfish a forever home because of her disability. They were both surprised and delighted when multiple people applied to adopt her and welcome her into their home. Now, a forever home has been found for Starfish, and she will soon begin the next chapter of her life with her new loving family.
Second Chance Rescue Dog NYC updated its social media page to thank everyone for the support and donations towards a custom cart and rehabilitation for Starfish. They informed their followers of the good news that they have now found a home for Starfish and that it is all thanks to the kindness, support, and generosity of strangers. When Starfish first arrived at a shelter, her prospects did not look good, but her life has now been completely transformed and she has a lot to look forward to in life. This shows that there is a family for every dog, regardless of any disability they may have.