You wouldn’t think it would be hard to keep up with a dog that has only the use of two of its legs but it is with four-year-old Petey.
A two-wheeled cart attached to his back allows him to walk and run on the grounds of Sunrise Animal Hospital in Mount Pearl.
Just weeks ago, Petey’s hind legs were paralyzed and his only way of getting around was by dragging them behind him. Thanks to Beagle Paws and donations from the public, Petey has been given a second chance at mobility.
And volunteers with the beagle rescue organization are determined to find a new home for him.
When he was surrendered to St. John’s Humane Services Nov. 19, Petey was in bad shape, says Beagle Paws founder Sheila Lewis.
Not only was he unable to walk, he’d also lost control of his bladder and bowel.
Lewis happened to be visiting Humane Services when the beagle was brought in.
“At first we thought he was injured but he didn’t appear to be in any pain. He couldn’t move his back end at all,” she said.
Rather than see the dog euthanized, Lewis asked that Petey be placed in the care of Beagle Paws volunteers.
The organization has found homes for more than 1,200 beagles since 2003. It operates solely on donations and fundraising efforts.
Lewis knew if the dog needed major surgery, her group would not be in a position to save his life.
After having Petey examined by several vets, a decision was made to try acupuncture. Petey has been staying at Sunrise Animal Hospital in Mount Pearl and is taken to Paradise Animal Hospital three times a week where the procedure is performed by Dr. Babette Meister.
Dr. Hendrik DeZeeuw of Sunrise Animal Hospital says while they initially thought the dog had a disc problem, it’s more likely the paralysis was caused by a blocked artery that affected blood flow.
Although it’s impossible to say for sure that acupuncture is helping the dog’s mobility, DeZeeuw said he supports the treatment and is optimistic Petey will make a full recovery.
“He’s such a happy, happy dog. My staff will hate to see him leave. He’s become our clinic dog over the past month,” he said.
Beagle Paws volunteer Sandra Woito takes Petey for his acupuncture appointments.
“When I first saw him, my reaction was to cry, but as I’ve gotten to know him I’ve learned that he’s not one to be pitied. His drive, determination and spirit are like nothing I’ve ever seen,” she said.
He’s doing remarkably well and his bladder and bowel functions have returned to normal, thanks to the care he’s been getting at both vet clinics, Woito said.
“All of us at Beagle Paws who know Petey always said we want nothing more for Christmas than to see him walk. He’s our Christmas miracle,” Woito said.
Lewis and Woito are grateful to everyone who’s assisted in Petey’s recovery, including the family who loaned the cart to help with his mobility. “Our goal now is to find him a home,” Lewis said.
Anyone interested in adopting Petey can call (709) 738-7297.
To donate to his care or to follow Petey’s progress online, visit www.beaglepaws.com.