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Dog found in ditch can walk again thanks to doctor, volunteers

ATLANTA — Jimmy, a 5-year-old pit bull found abandoned by the side of the road, already got the best present of all this holiday season: A second chance.

Jimmy (photo courtesy of Diva's Pit Bull Rescue)

Jimmy (photo courtesy of Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue)

Thanks to volunteers from a pit bull rescue organization and a doctor from BluePearl Veterinary Partners, the formerly paralyzed pup can now walk again. And soon he’ll be ready to find a forever home.

“It’s just amazing what they did for him,” said Melissa Goldstein, Jimmy’s foster mom. “They put him back together again.”

Jimmy has come a long way since he was found on the side of the road in Lilburn by Colleen Lazenby, the founder of Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue.  Believed to have been hit by a car, his back was broken.

“I’m so grateful that I saw his head pop up from the grass,” said Lazenby. “But right when I saw him, I knew – this dog can’t walk.”

After putting out a plea on Facebook, several members of the Gwinnett County Animal Control helped Lazenby get Jimmy to a veterinarian’s office where he could be X-rayed.

Jimmy the day he was found by Colleen Lazenby (photo courtesy of Diva's Pit Bull Rescue)

Jimmy the day he was found by Colleen Lazenby (photo courtesy of Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue)

Dr. Alan Cross, a veterinary surgeon with BluePearl, said he was optimistic about Jimmy’s chances for a full recovery. The dog’s L7 vertebrae was fractured but he still had feeling in his hind legs – a promising sign.

As a board-certified surgeon, Cross has years of advanced training within his specialty. During Jimmy’s operation – which lasted nearly four hours – he used 12 screws to attach two plates on either side of the dog’s spine.

Slowly, over the next few weeks, Jimmy began to get better. First, he could stand. Then, finally, he began to walk.

Today, Jimmy’s injury is barely noticeable, except for a waggle in his hind end. He’s still building his strength but is a happy dog who loves to snuggle with his foster mom.

Jimmy recently finished his heartworm treatment and will be available for adoption soon, Goldstein said. Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue is raising money to cover the cost of Jimmy’s care. Those interested in contributing are encouraged to click here. Those interested in adopting Jimmy or another dog from Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue can apply here.

“His progress has been amazing,” Goldstein said. “He’s like a different dog now. I’m just so happy that he is alive.”

Jimmy relaxing in his foster home (photo courtesy of Diva's Pit Bull Rescue)

Jimmy relaxing in his foster home (photo courtesy of Diva’s Pit Bull Rescue)

Jimmy's spine following surgery (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

Jimmy’s spine following surgery (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)