CLEVELAND — Months after a young dog was found abandoned, tied to a tree in East Cleveland, he’s getting a second chance at life.
“This is Wyatt’s first day. He has yet to use this leg appropriately,” said Dr. Allison Lash, head of APL Veterinary Services. “He’s only used it to kind of limp along and it’s putting strain on his back and his hips.”
The eight-month old mastiff, Wyatt, was found without a limb — his back right paw.
Cleveland’s Animal Protective League, with the help of people throughout the community, came forward to raise money for surgeries and a prosthetic foot.
The device cost about $1,200 and, on Thursday afternoon, was being fitted on Wyatt for the first time.
*Watch the beginning of Wyatt’s emotional story HERE
“It went well. Some animals, you put these on and they’ll hold their leg up and never put it down,” Lash said. “So, half the battle could be just getting them to make contact with the ground. He excelled in that department.”
The fitting is just one step of what likely will be a lengthy process to get Wyatt to fully function on all four. It didn’t come without a few hiccups.
“I think it’s maybe an inch-and-a-half (to) two inches too long, just based on what we observed today,” Lash said. “Even with all our careful measurements and re-measuring, we still have adjustments.”
The long-term goal is that the dog will be fitted to a permanent prosthetic and eventually, he’ll find a forever home.
“He’s not used to it,” said Becky Kent, an animal foster parent for Wyatt. “He’s just going to have to get used to it. I think there are going to be some adjustments trying to make it as much as a part of him as possible.”
It’s a new paw for a pup with personality, now with all the support he needs.
“He’s such a sweet dog and he deserves to be comfortable,” Kent said. “To watch him walk on all four and have that leg supported was wonderful. He needed a second chance.”