Abandoned by Breeder, 3 Legged Dog Thrives in New Home

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Born without a right front paw, Hopalong Cassidy IV inspires everyone he meets. The lucky dog was adopted by Bernie Ponzio after a breeder gave him up.

“When the breeder saw him, she called him worthless because she couldn’t get any money for him and said she wanted him put down,” Ponzio said.

Ponzio was one of nine people who offered adopt him. In her care, he has grown to be happy and confident, seemingly unaffected by his disability.

Ponzio plans to take Cassidy to visit area schools next year to share his story and inspire young animal lovers.

Teacher April Roberts said she welcomes the idea.

“As a teacher, I have students with special needs, and I have students with disabilities who are in wheelchairs, so I think every day that they can do whatever they want, as long as they put their mind to it — same thing that he did,” Roberts said.

Cassidy is currently enrolled in training to become a therapy dog.

6 thoughts on “Abandoned by Breeder, 3 Legged Dog Thrives in New Home”

  1. Oh Cassidy you are worth more than your weight in gold. What a sweet boy you are. You have a long and happy life.

  2. Cassidy will make a wonderful therapy animal for children with disabilities. He can inspire them to reach for the stars, just like the opportunity that Mr. Ponzio has given him. Without a doubt, Cassidy will leave a lasting impression in their minds to the possibilities before them.

  3. Breeders are born with a disability also – it’s called ‘missing heart’ syndrome. Shall we have them put down?


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