Heroic three-legged pup seeks forever home after overcoming early life cruelty

Joey, an 18-month-old amputee dog , is looking for a new home after a heart-wrenching rescue from abusive conditions.

An 18-month-old dog, Joey, who was surrendered along with his six siblings and mother to RSPCA South Australia, is now searching for a new family where he can continue his recovery. After being rescued from a property in Whyalla, Joey, who is an amputee, has lived through challenges from an early age and is now in foster care, adapting to life with three legs.

In January 2023, RSPCA inspectors found Joey, his six siblings, and their mother Macaroni in a state of severe neglect. At the scene, they also discovered a seventh puppy in critical condition, which had to be humanely euthanised due to its poor health. Following this tragic discovery, the animals were moved to the then-operational RSPCA facility in Lonsdale, where intensive care began.

The initial diagnosis was grim. All the dogs were extremely underweight and suffering from ringworm. Macaroni, weighing only 13kg at the time of her rescue, saw her condition improve significantly under RSPCA care, doubling her weight to 25.6kg within just over a month.

Joey and his siblings also recovered with treatment, but Joey faced further hardships. He developed a condition in his right hind leg that left him lame. Confirming the severity of his situation, vets decided in November that amputation was necessary to alleviate his ongoing pain.

According to Josie Deacon, an RSPCA SA trainee vet nurse and Joey’s current caregiver, the young dog has coped well with his disability. “Joey loves the water, even now when it’s getting chilly he’ll still paddle, he also loves his toys and he’s a clever boy who enjoys training – he’ll do anything for a tasty snack,” she shared. Josie continues to highlight that while Joey is energetic and playful, he needs owners aware of his limitations.

While Joey’s prognosis was once bleak, his recovery in foster care highlights the impact of compassionate and dedicated care. Joey’s siblings and Macaroni have since found their forever homes, yet he remains the last of his litter to be adopted.

Josie voiced her support for Joey and her determination to find him a suitable home. She said, “We’ve got Team Joey gunning for this young dog, determined to do all we can to compensate for the suffering he endured due to chronic neglect in his first weeks of life.”

Joey has shown significant progress since leaving the stressful environment of the shelter. “Since leaving the shelter he’s transformed into the most delightful character,” Josie shared. She also made an appeal for more people to consider the benefits of fostering dogs like Joey.

Prospective adopters can contact RSPA’s dog adoption team via email for a chance to meet Joey and possibly welcome him into their home.

For anyone interested in adopting or learning more about Joey, email [email protected].

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