DENVER — He’s an animal that weeks ago faced death by euthanasia.
But thanks to some big hearts who drove more than 600 miles Thursday, an injured dog has a new chance at life.
Tanner looks dog-gone tired after a 13-hour drive from Kansas City, Missouri.
“Poor dogs like this end up dead. People won’t do anything about it,” says Don Thompson, who came out to help unload 46 other dogs rescued from Missouri.
Tanner looks just like any other puppy, but Tanner’s hind legs don’t work.
“There’s something wrong with his spine. He can’t walk. He scoots on one side. He has lot of fluid build-up on the back,” says Jules Hill with Royal Rescue who will take care of Tanner until he’s ready for adoption.
Hill says Tanner’s owner kicked him like a football and broke his spine in three places.
Now, he’s in a wheelchair.
“He’s got a pretty tilted up spine,” says Dr. Cheryl Adams of Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center of Castle Pines.
Vets here will see if they can help Tanner walk again.
“Surgery may be there. If not, then how do we help his spinal cord heal as best it can? What do we do to build muscles back?” asks Dr. Adams.
They’ll do that through exercise, using an underwater treadmill, to build muscle strength and muscle memory.
A hydrotherapy pool could also help him recover wasted muscle.
It helped this paralyzed pooch named Lucky, who can now lift himself three-inches off the ground.
Lucky was paralyzed when someone shot him in his spine. The bullet remains.
“If they go to the shelters, it’s very difficult for these dogs. It does cost quite a bit of money. So I try to work on them individually,” says Hill.
Hill says she hopes someday Tanner can run and play with other dogs unencumbered by a wheelchair–but most certainly without the pain.
“I do see results with these dogs. It just takes time. It takes patience. But these dogs are willing and they’ve got the will to live,” says Hill.
Royal rescue has raised about $1,100 so far to help tanner walk again. It could cost up to $15,000.
If you would like to help Tanner you can donate here.
Tanner also has his own Facebook page at Tanner the Wonder Pup.