Paralyzed Shelter Pup Gets Carried Off to Her New Life
When a dog arrives at a shelter, the staff always try their best to find them a forever home. In most cases, this happens quickly as there is a family for every dog. Unfortunately, some groups of dogs can find it trickier to find a new home than others. For example, dogs with a medical condition or a disability often attract less interest from potential adoptive families than other dogs that are in good health. This is often because people are not willing to commit to a dog that needs extra care. Likewise, people are deterred by the potential medical cost of caring for a dog with additional needs.
In these cases, the staff at the rescue center often need to put extra effort into finding adoptive parents, and they may need to get creative in the methods they use. I Heart Dogs tells the story of a paralyzed dog called Sweet Potato and how staff at a rescue center helped her to find her forever home. As soon as Sweet Potato arrived at the Humane Society of Charlotte, the staff fell in love with her straight away and made a huge fuss of her. They decided that to help her find a home, they would begin a campaign called #SelfiesWithSweetPotato.
In addition to trying to attract attention to her story in the hope of finding her an adoptive parent, they also took measures to improve her health so that she was as fit as possible and ready for adoption. One form of treatment that Sweet Potato was given was a course of acupuncture to improve her chances of regaining the use of her back legs. When she underwent her first treatment, the staff reported that she was quite happy about the experience but that she was extremely curious as to what was happening.
One of the most significant stages in preparing Sweet Potato for a new home was getting her a set of new wheels. As Sweet Potato does not have the use of her back legs, she needed a set of rear wheels to help her get around. This would improve her quality of life significantly. Not long after arriving at the shelter, the paralyzed dog was measured for a form of a canine wheelchair by an organization called Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation. This organization was founded in 2014 by a man called Jason Parker who was inspired to create dog wheelchairs when his own dog suffered paralysis. Since then, this organization has helped hundreds of pets living in a shelter. It is not just dogs that he has aided, as other recipients of his wheels include cats and goats.
The Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation created a pink, custom-made chair for Sweet Potato. It arrived at the shelter for her in mid-August 2019 and the staff set her up on it straight away. As soon as it was on, Sweet Potato was raring to go. The staff thanked the organization for the wheels on their social media pages, along with a cute photo of Sweet Potato going for a walk. Everyone at the Humane Society of Charlotte continued to show Sweet Potato lots of support as she learned to use her mobility aid. He great news was that she also began to regain some of the mobility in her back legs. This increased her chances of finding a new home.
The staff also continued with their online campaign in a bid to find her a forever home. Eventually, their pleas were successful,l and someone came forward who was willing to give Sweet Potato a loving home and provide for all her needs. Although the name of her adoptive dad is not known, Wide Open Pets reports that Sweet Potato’s new dad came to the Humane Society of Charlotte to collect her and carried her home. She is now fortunate enough to have a loving home with someone who was not deterred by her disability.
Without the love and support of the staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Charlotte, she might not have found someone to love her. Likewise, without the help of the Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation, Sweet Potato’s mobility may not have improved enough for her to attract an adoptive parent. While it may seem unusual for a dog to use a wheelchair, there are many dogs with mobility issues that use these devices. The Daily Telegraph tells the story of a French Bulldog called Zelda who was crippled by a disease when she was only young. This left her unable to do all the things that she loved the most, such as running around the park.
Zelda’s mum, Megan Hunt, found out about the possibility of having a custom-made wheelchair created by Aquapaws. She decided to give it a try and got Zelda measured for one of the devices. Hunt says that the arrival of her wheelchair has given Zelda a new lease of life. Hunt got Zelda when she was a pup after her first family had abandoned her. Within weeks of Hunt taking her home, Zelda woke up in agonizing pain. Hunt rushed her to the vet where she was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease. Without a wheelchair, Zelda would not have the use of her back legs.
Since she began using her wheelchair, Zelda can do all the things she enjoys, including chasing after a ball, running around her home, and having fun with Hunt at the park. Just like Sweet Potato, using a wheelchair has significantly improved Zelda’s quality of life. Thanks to these devices, both Zelda and Sweet Potato can live relatively normal lives and continue to enjoy everything that other dogs with full mobility enjoy. Seeing dogs using these devices is a wonderful sight and it shows that dogs don’t let things hold them back in life.