When 1-year-old Clarence arrived at Dekalb County Animal Services, Ga., on Dec. 14, 2013, he was just one more stray. However, unlike many strays that are hungry, dirty, abused and tired, Clarence was also a special needs pup.
You see, Clarence seems to have suffered a spinal injury, and even though he has feelings on all four legs, it is difficult for him to walk and control his extremities. After standing for a while, he just succumbs onto the floor.
“He is just like a turtle,” said Chandler Ridett with Society of Humane Friends of Georgia Inc. (SOHFGA). “He is not walking properly. He takes a few steps, stands and then stumbles. He could have been hit by a car, kicked, or something could have fallen on him. We’re not sure.”
SOHFGA learn about Clarence and pulled him from Dekalb Animal Services on Dec 16, 2013. The young dog was placed into foster care with Ridett immediately, and ever since he arrived, the organization has made him feel as comfortable as possible. Meanwhile, they are working towards collecting enough funds to pay for the medical care he really needs.
“He doesn’t seem to be in any pain,” said Ridett. “[Clarence] is the sweetest dog you can imagine. He is just trying so hard to walk.”
Clarence was seen by University of Georgia Veterinary School. The x-rays done did not show much and vets were unable to determine what kind of injury his spine might have.
The 10 pound dog needs an MRI that will identify with accuracy the damage done to his spine. However, getting an MRI will cost SOHFGA $1,800, and right now they don’t have the funds to cover this exam.
The organization has set up a donation site where concerned animal lovers have donated over $600 to his medical care so far. Yet a lot more is needed. The MRI has been scheduled for January 4th and SOHFGA hopes that by then, they will have collected enough money to help Clarence.
“It is possible [Clarence’s] injury could not be cured, but his quality of life could be improved with surgery or a wheel cart,” said Ridett.
If surgery is needed, Clarence will need and additional $2,000-$3,000 to cover his medical expenses.
Using a wheel cart is something that can improve Clarence’s quality of life, but these need to be custom made for the pet in need and they too are costly.
SOHFGA hopes the MRI will show the damage to Clarence spine is treatable and the young dog will once again be a normal dog with total use of all four legs.
“If his injury is irreversible, Clarence will need to be carried in and out of his home,” said Ridett. He will need a family open to work with him and his disability, but this won’t be known until the MRI gets done.
Since Clarence has such a sweet temperament, when he is ready for adoption, he will be the ideal pet for a family with older children. He gets along well with other dogs and having a fur-sibling will be beneficial.
If you would like to help Clarence walk on all fours, consider making an online donation. Follow SOHFGA on Facebook to learn more about Clarence and see if his wish to walk again comes true.