Amputee Detective Rescues Dog With Paw Prosthetic
Chloe the Shih Tzu is ending her summer in a forever home. In March, San Diego Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement officers rescued the black-and-white dog and another canine, a 13-year-old Chihuahua named Roxie, from neglectful conditions at a home in Mira Mesa, California.
According to the San Diego Humane Society, officers found Chloe and Roxy with their back paws bandaged and learned the dogs' previous owner wrapped the canines' paws to prevent the pets from scratching. The bandages used on Chole and Roxy were so tight they cut off blood flow to the dogs' paws.
Unfortunately, due to the serious damage caused by the bandages, the San Diego Humane Society had to make the difficult choice to amputate some of Chloe and Roxy's feet to prevent further injury. Nine-year-old Chloe had both of her back feet partially amputated, while Roxy had one paw partially removed. Dr. Seth Mathus Ganz of Agile Veterinary Surgery performed the complicated procedures and helped ensure that both pooches healed fully.
Following their amputation operations, Chloe and Roxy started on the road to recovery. The medical team at San Diego Humane Society's Escondido Campus were there every step of the way to change the dogs' bandages, help the pups with pain management, and get the canines moving again with physical therapy.
During their physical therapy, the dogs learned to walk supported with a sling, using a wheelchair, and outfitted with prosthetics. Ultimately, Chloe was fitted with orthopedic slippers for her back legs, and Roxy received a custom prosthetic device on her left leg.
"Fitting a dog with prosthetics is quite an involved process, and this was a first for San Diego Humane Society," veterinarian Susan Garity shared in a statement. "It included sedation to create a mold of the feet, getting the prosthetics to fit perfectly, and monitoring for pressure sores. It takes time for the dogs to learn to use them, but our staff is so dedicated, and I am so grateful we had our whole organization's support in giving these sweet dogs a second chance at some normalcy."
With such a compassionate support system behind them, both dogs eventually mastered moving around in their prosthetics and found forever homes. Chloe was adopted by an individual especially attuned to her needs — San Diego Police Department Detective Chappie Hunter.
In 2013, Hunter was involved in a crash that resulted in the amputation of one of his legs. Following the accident and his recovery, Hunter returned to work with a prosthetic. Before adopting the pooch, Hunter and his family fostered Chloe and helped her adjust to her prosthetics in a home setting. After spending so much time bonding with the dog, the family decided to make her adoption official this summer.
San Diego Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement team investigated the case surrounding Chloe and Roxy's injuries and have submitted their recommendations to the Office of the City Attorney in San Diego, according to the San Diego Humane Society.
The rescue added that "anyone who needs help caring for their pets can contact San Diego Humane Society. The nonprofit organization is an open-admission shelter, meaning it will never turn away an animal in need. For more information, visit sdhumane.org."