updated 07/02/2014 AT 1:30 PM ET
•originally published 07/03/2014 AT 1:30 PM ET
Home. Some pets never have one to call their own. We’d like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary adoptable pet every week. Today, meet Chuck, a young pit bull who has overcome difficult hurdles in his short life.
This past Christmas, the pooch was found tied to a fence at the Asphalt Green recreational campus in New York City. Unable to walk normally, he could only drag himself by his front legs.
He was brought to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by two good Samaritans. Radiographs revealed severe joint disease in both of his hips due to old fractures, and, as a result, he had lost almost all the muscle mass in his hind legs.
In March, veterinarians decided Chuck should undergo a femoral head ostectomy, a surgical procedure that removes the head and neck from the femur. Staff at the ASPCA were hopeful that Chuck would experience less pain afterward and be able to place weight on and use his hind legs at least 50 to 80 percent better than before.
Chuck is now a rockstar at the Animal Medical Center of Manhattan, where he does physical therapy. He’s started walking – and even running! – and knows how to do a doggy “moonwalk.” His amazing progress has been an inspiration to all of the ASPCA’s staff.
“He’s a happy dog whose personality was very friendly, energetic – let’s go, let’s go! – all the time, despite his disability,” says Dr. J’Mai Gayle, who performed Chuck’s surgical procedures. “That’s one reason he did so well. He has a love for life, is a little bit stubborn and is going to keep going no matter what the cost.”
Adds Dr. Leilani Alvarez, director of the center’s Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service: “For us, the question is: Can he do the normal range of activities that will enable him to have a good quality of life?” she says. “At first it was no now it’s a definite yes. He has full, functional mobility – and that’s really the biggest success of rehab. He can stand up by himself, walk, run. Most of us who came into this profession as veterinarians came in because we want to help animals. It’s always a pleasure to help a patient like Chuck.”
If you think this resilient pup is the buddy you’ve been looking for, contact the ASPCA at 212-876-7700, ext. 4120. To read more about him, read his bio.
Click here to meet last week’s adoptable pet, Homer.
Adopting a pet is an amazing experience – and a big decision! Before bringing a pet into your home, it’s important to consider your family circumstances and do your research.