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Chihuahua puppies on a roll

by Therese on January 11, 2008

in Dogs, Pet Health, Pets

A trio of chihuahuas – Pablo, Venus, and Carmen – were born without front legs but that’s not keeping them down. Two of their litter mates, born with all four limbs, were sold by their puppy mill operator owner. Since these three little ones were obviously defective by puppy mill breeder standards, they were sent to an animal shelter to be euthanized. Instead though, they’ve found a loving home and have recently been outfitted with their own set of wheels.

Three adorable Chihuahua puppies who were born without front paws are now hot dogs on a roll – each equipped with their own custom set of wheels.

Litter mates Pablo, Carmen and Venus received the tiny carts, costing a total of $1,000, courtesy of North Shore Animal League donors.

The small rigs are fully loaded and made of aluminum, with Velcro-held polar fleece padding for comfortable, shock-absorbing body support. They feature lightweight, black foam wheels.

“The wheels were their holiday presents,” said owner Donna Imhof, a veterinary technician at the league’s shelter in Port Washington, LI.

[…]

The trio had already learned to “walk around on their hind legs, like little dinosaurs, and they hop like little kangaroos,” Imhof said.

Imhof first taught the canines to walk by rigging a clothesline and harness to enable them to stay upright and develop their hind-leg muscles. Venus, at just 2½ pounds, learned first, probably because of her smaller size.

“But that’s not the way dogs are supposed to walk,” Imhof said.

The wheels are needed to prevent future injuries, as well as serious leg and back problems from the strain on their spines.

Yesterday, at North Shore’s Port Washington shelter, Imhof strapped the pups into their vehicles and they had another lesson in walking with wheels.

She said they had mastered reverse and were still working on forward “gear.”

[…]

North Shore Animal League spokeswoman Joanne Yohannan said it should take the clever Chihuahuas 30 to 60 days to learn how to navigate completely on their wheels.

That will not only save them from possibly crippling injuries later in life, but will enable them to perform normal dog tasks – such as being walked on a leash.

Imhof “is providing them with the love and attention they need,” Yohannan said. “They are Donna’s children.”

Yohannan said two other Chihuahuas from the same litter were born normal. The birth defect, “we suspect, was the result of inbreeding and of greed,” she said. “It was a small-size puppy mill.

The New York Post has more.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan Cahill January 11, 2008 at 10:34 am

I saw this at theanimalrescuesite.com a while back. Has the breeder been charged with unethical breeding or something related to this?

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Fuzzy Logic January 11, 2008 at 10:40 am

All I can say is that I personally think it’s inhumane to ask a four legged creature to “walk” around on two legs. They’re bodies are not adapted for it.. Not to mention their mental health.

but heck I’ve been wrong before.

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Fuzzy Logic January 11, 2008 at 10:41 am

ETA: The wheels are cool though… that makes me feel better..

(perhaps I should watch/read the whole thing before I shoot my mouth off, huh?)

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Therese January 11, 2008 at 10:50 am

Hey there Fuzzy, I think it just shows your passion for animals 😉

Megan, I don’t know if the breeder’s been charged or not.

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jan January 11, 2008 at 11:36 am

Dogs are remarkably resiliant. I think they will adapt to life on wheels since that is all they’ve ever known.

But I could be wrong too.

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Megan Cahill January 12, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I think the wheels are a great idea- they do it with dogs that have severe hip and back problems, just in the rear instead of the front. Also, the woman taking care of them said that it will alleviate future stresses to their bodies, and the dogs seems to be having a good time!

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Jimmy January 12, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Oh, that just breaks my heart Therese!

We had two local hunters find a two legged chihuahua in the middle of a dirt road in rural Pender county while they were out huntin’ back in October.
The poor thing was infested with ticks and fleas.

They took him to a local vet in Wilmington (Dineen Animal Hospital). The staff just fell in love with him and named him “Roo”!

Hopefully you can read the two articles on him here!

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20071025/NEWS/710250336

and the update here

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20071115/NEWS/711150347/1051/NEWS

or just google “Roo the two-legged Chihuahua”

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Therese January 12, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Thanks for the link, Jimmy. All four of these little guys seem to have a real will to live, so I’m happy for all of them that they found people to help them do just that!

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Main Street Dog Blog January 16, 2008 at 1:16 pm

What an amazing story! The poor little dogs can now have a semi-normal life! The sad thing is, so many puppy mills get away with stuf like this.

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