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Eight-week-old West Highland Terrier Pumpkin was immobile when she was taken in by Breeds In Need rescue centre in Lincolnshire. The paralysed puppy, who couldn’t use her back legs, was later adopted by a foster family who “fell in love with her” and set their sights on getting Pumpkin back on the move.
Adoptive owner Tammie Fox, 41, began raising money for a wheelchair and was delighted when friends and strangers donated to the cause.
A big animal lover, Ms Fox was happy to foster Pumpkin when her local rescue centre Breeds and Need asked her to give her a temporary home.
However, she soon became besotted with the tiny Westie who could “fit into the palm” of her hand, she told the Mirror.
The puppy had been taken to the rescue centre when her breeder noticed she couldn’t use her back legs.
Ms Fox said: “It broke my heart seeing Pumpkin unable to walk. I just had to keep her.”
Ms Fox said she “fell in love” with Pumpkin and decided to give her a permanent home.
She set up a fundraising page to ask friends, family and clients for their help to get the puppy walking again.
In less than a week, she managed to raise over £8000 which allowed her to book an appointment with one of the best vet specialists in the world who could assess Pumpkin’s need.
Ms Fox said: “I was blown away by everyone’s generosity.”
An MRI scan revealed that the puppy’s back had been broken when she was a baby, with the vet concluding she was most likely stamped on a baby.
Although she was no longer in pain she would never walk again.
Ms Fox used the remaining money to buy Pumpkin a bright pink wheelchair from Walkin’ Pets to enable her to get around.
She donated the remaining money to Breeds in Need.
Now six months old, Pumpkin enjoys chasing squirrels in the park and has already mastered getting up the stairs and climbing over obstacles using her new wheels.
Ms Fox said she has even mastered getting in and out of the cat flap in their house.
She said Pumpkin is “full of personality and Westitude”.
She said: “She is very cheeky, stubborn and bossy. She’s such a character and nothing stops her.”
Pumpkin has also become “best friends” with Ms Fox’s other dog, three-year-old Jack Russell Smiggle who is “soft and gentle” with the new arrival.
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Ms Fox said: “Our whole family just love her. She turned our world upside down and it’s like having a newborn baby, but I wouldn’t change her.”
Ms Fox is now passionate about giving other disabled dogs a second chance at life and helping those less fortunate than Pumpkin, because “caring for them takes more time and patience but they are just as worthy as any other animals”.
She has organised a Disability Dog Walk in Boultham Park, Lincolnshire in April.
They will be joined by 100 other dog owners and their blind, deaf and paralysed pups who are aiming to raise £6000 for dog charities Winston Wheels, Breeds In Need and Broken Biscuits.
Ms Fox said: “It’ll be really nice to see all the dogs on their wheels together.”
They hope to raise £6000 to be able to donate 12 dog wheelchairs to the charities and are already well on the way to their goal, with £4000 already raised.
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