Injured pit bull pup loses front legs but wins hearts

Dog believed to have fallen out of window in Calif.

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Anyone interested in contributing to London's continued care and medical bills can donate directly to Panda Paws Rescue at its website.

Anyone interested in contributing to London’s continued care and medical bills can donate directly to Panda Paws Rescue at its website.

London arrived Monday at the Humane Society of Del Norte in Crescent City, Calif. with fractures that had shattered the joints in his front legs. The 6-month-old pit bull had likely fallen from his previous owner’s second- or third-story apartment building about a month ago. His paw pads and underbelly were also burned.

He learned to get around by sticking his butt up in the air, dragging his front legs and walking with his back legs. He would turn left by putting the right side of his face on the ground and turn right by putting the left side down.

After walking this way, some fur on his face was rubbed thin and he developed sores and a few calluses.

When the Humane Society realized it couldn’t help him at the shelter, officials contacted Amanda Giese, founder of the Vancouver in-home pet rescue organization Panda Paws Rescue.

She met a shelter representative in Cottage Grove, Ore., so she could bring London here for surgery.

“Even though it was painful for me to lift him, he was licking me,” Giese said. “He was happy.”

When they arrived in Vancouver, Giese put London in a harness. He started playing and “asking” for treats. The 44-pound pit bull even made friends with a couple of 2-pound Chihuahuas.

Wednesday morning at 10 London went in for surgery at the Animal Care Clinic in Vancouver. Dr. Bradon Sherman amputated both front legs from the shoulder down. He said London could have kept his legs if his injuries had been taken care of right away. After a month, however, it’s hard to get the bones aligned and there’s a higher risk for complications.

“This was a good option for London,” Sherman said after the surgery. “He’s got a good chance of having a good quality of life.”

London will be fitted with an all-terrain front wheelchair, donated by Eddie’s Wheels. After a two-week recovery period, he will start swim therapy and ball therapy to improve his strength and relieve the strain on his back.

“He’s going to make a great pet for somebody who’s willing and able to care for his needs,” Sherman said.

Giese named London after the 2012 Olympics because his effort reminds her of the trials and tribulations that athletes endure in their training and performance. Much like an athlete, his perseverance is captivating, she said.

“We’re all now known as Team London,” Giese said. “He’s our little gold medalist.”