by Corey Hjalseth, KHQ Local News Contributor - email
Victory, a copper-colored Chihuahua mix,
couldn't be more deserving of her name.
The disabled pup was found wandering the
streets of Dearborn, Mich., a few weeks ago and brought to the Dearborn Animal Shelter. Born with deformed front legs,
Victory must hobble awkwardly around the floor, like a baby kangaroo taking his
first few insecure steps, just to get around.
But that will all change very soon when she
receives a pair of wheels — paid for by donations from around the world — that
will take her where she needs to go (on many victorious chariot rides, we
"We thought that she needed some name that
really described how she looked at life and the fact that she survived when many
animals with deformities don't," Elaine Greene, executive director of Friends
for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a nonprofit that runs the shelter, told
TODAY.com. "She has such a wonderful personality and spirit that we felt she's
been victorious over what could be barriers that stand in her way."
When no one came forward to claim the 1
year old dog at the shelter, staff began to consider ways to improve
her mobility. As there was no surgical solution, they looked into a combination
of three orthopedic devices that proved prohibitively expensive at $2,000.
That is, until the shelter mentioned
Victory's situation in a newsletter last week that quickly attracted the
attention of local news media. Within a week they had met their goal three times
over, and have received $7,000 so far.
"We really appreciated the response," Greene
said. "We were so surprised by how quickly the news traveled. Within a few days
we were getting calls from all over the United States, and even the
The money is going toward three apparatuses
that are being made for Victory: a protective vest for when she is just lazing
around, a sled-like device so she can easily move around carpet and a set of
wheels for exploring the great outdoors.
Mobility and a new name aren't the only
things she will have gained since arriving at the shelter. She's found a new
friend in Greene, who's letting the pup stay with her until they find Victory
the perfect home.
"We're all very attached to her, and she to
us, so we're looking for a very special situation," she said. "Right now she's
acclimating fine in my household, but I don't know that's the right choice for
her. I know it's going to break my heart when she leaves."
While many people have already shown an
interest in adopting Victory, Greene isn't in any rush. Shelter staff wants the
dog to acclimate to her new devices before making any life changes. And Greene
has big plans for Victory.
"I would really like her to get a job
working with people with disabilities," she said. "If I could find a way to add
that into her new life, that would be great."
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