An 8-year-old dog named Cesar who was permanently paralyzed by a disc injury has been given a new lease on life, after his Army veteran owner reached out to the Lifeline Animal Project Pets for Life Program for help. Malcom Stafford said he noticed Cesar was injuring himself and struggling to keep up with him by dragging his hind legs, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
Stafford said the Chihuahua mix used to like to accompany him in the garden, and that he tried buying him an inexpensive wheelchair but the dog didn’t like it.
“It was devastating, I was devastated,” Stafford told Fox 5 Atlanta, of Cesar’s injury. “Because he’s a good dog.”
Andrea Peterson, director of outreach at the Lifeline Animal Project, visited with Stafford and Cesar to assess the dog’s needs. Peterson said the program works with low-income pet owners in Atlanta who have limited or no access to veterinary care, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
“The pets are happier in their homes,” Peterson told the news outlet. “A lot of people don’t have the means to take care of their pets as well as they would like. But it doesn’t mean they love them any less.”
Cesar was outfitted with a $200 wheelchair through donations in the program and quickly took to his newfound freedom.
“It’s like Cesar is re-loaded, it’s a new dog,” Stafford told Fox 5 Atlanta. “It’s a great day.”