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Dog found in a ditch will walk again thanks to new leg

LOUISVILLE, KY.  – Stanley, a 2-year-old Lab mix, has come a long way since the day he was turned over to a rescue group, barely able to hobble due to his damaged front legs.

On Wednesday, the energetic pup is expected to take his first steps on a new prosthetic leg. It’s the result of months of work by volunteers from The Arrow Fund, who rescued Stanley, and by doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital.

Stanley (photo courtesy of The Arrow Fund)

Stanley (photo courtesy of The Arrow Fund).

“It will be wonderful to see Stanley walk with his foster family,” said Rebecca Eaves, president of The Arrow Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides medical treatment to animals who have been victims of extreme torture, abuse and neglect. “Despite everything he has been though, he’s really happy and loving. And it’s clear he can’t wait to play, just like a regular dog.”

Eaves said Stanley was brought to The Arrow Fund in July from Johnson County, Kentucky, by a family who said they found him in a ditch and could not afford the cost of his medical care.

Stanley had radial nerve damage in his left front leg and couldn’t feel anything up to his elbow. Because he had no feeling in the paw, he either chewed off or

Stanley's damaged left leg (photo courtesy of The Arrow Fund)

Stanley’s damaged left leg (photo courtesy of The Arrow Fund)

wore off his toes, which caused constant infection and irritation. Stanley is also unable to straighten his right leg due to a fracture that was never properly treated.

Dr. Becca Hodshon, a board-certified veterinary surgeon with BluePearl, worked with Stanley to try to save his leg, but eventually decided that a partial amputation was the best course of action.

“He’s definitely a good candidate for a prosthetic limb,” said Hodshon. “Stanley is young and healthy, so we want to do everything we can to maximize the chances for a good outcome. He’s really a terrific dog.”

On Wednesday, Stanley will be fitted with a new fiberglass prosthetic leg, created by Ortho Pets. Dr. Ruth Schmidtchen, a senior BluePearl clinician who is certified in canine rehabilitation, will help Stanley get used to the leg and make any last-minute adjustments.

“The boot is designed to fit right over his leg, and will be attached with Velcro,” Schmidtchen said. “We’re hoping this will give him a normal gait – or at least as normal as possible.”

Stanley hasn’t let his medical problems slow him down, Eaves added.

“He’s very determined to do what other dogs do,” she said. “He attempts to climb stairs and get on the couch with his foster family. He has the best disposition and literally smiles all the time.”

Stanley hitches a ride (photo courtesy of The Arrow Fund).

Stanley hitches a ride (photo courtesy of The Arrow Fund).

Those who would like to contribute to the cost of Stanley’s care can do so by visiting The Arrow Fund’s website (arrowfund.org) or mailing checks to The Arrow Fund, P.O. Box 1127 Prospect, Ky. 40059.