News / Winnipeg

Dog rescue seeks wheelchair for blind, paralyzed puppy

Gizzy, a nine-month-old pup, is still standing – albeit on three legs – after a car struck him in a remote northern Manitoba community last month.

Gizzy, a nine-week-old puppy, is left paralyzed and blind after he was hit by a car.

Contributed/Manitoba Mutts

Gizzy, a nine-week-old puppy, is left paralyzed and blind after he was hit by a car.

Warning: The following video is not graphic, but it may disturb some viewers.  

Cats are typically the pets with nine lives, but one Manitoba puppy is doggedly determined enough to live through a paralyzing car accident and blindness.

Gizzy, a nine-week-old pup, is still standing – albeit on three legs – after a car struck him in a remote northern Manitoba community last month. Someone found the dog on the side of the road, dragging himself on his two front legs, and contacted a dog rescue group.

“He already had infections on his belly and legs,” said Colleen Holloway, a volunteer spokesperson for Manitoba Mutts. “We’re guessing, based on that, he had been dragging himself around for at least two or three days. And this was at the end of January.”

Manitoba Mutts took Gizzy to the Fort Garry Veterinary Hospital in Winnipeg, where veterinarians found they had to amputate one of his hind legs, as it was shattered beyond repair. He’s unable to use his other back leg – although the vets are not sure why – but he may eventually learn to stand on it.

There’s more to this tale: During the surgery, Gizzy suffered a heart attack that left him blind.

Now Manitoba Mutts is fundraising for a specialized wheelchair – complete with a “halo” – so Gizzy can drag himself around without bumping into any walls.

Manitoba Mutts are trying to raise money for a specialized safety device for Gizzy, so he can drag himself around without bumping into anything.

Silvie Bordeaux/ muffinshalo.com

Manitoba Mutts are trying to raise money for a specialized safety device for Gizzy, so he can drag himself around without bumping into anything.

“He’s defied so many odds that we have to give him the chance,” said Holloway, noting that rescues carefully weigh the financial costs of rehabbing a dog against the animal’s ability to live a pain-free life.

“We are at the stage right now, with Gizzy, that we are going to keep pushing with him,” she said. “We’re confident in the professional advice in the veterinary hospital. We are seeing, in him, a will and a desire to keep going.”

A wheelchair costs about $500 or $600 – and Manitoba Mutts may have to buy two sizes, depending on how big Gizzy grows. That’s on top of the $3,000 vet bill for the surgery and a “couple hundred dollars” per week for physiotherapy, said Holloway. She said he will likely need three months of rehab before he can be put up for adoption at a permanent home. Currently, the clinic is footing his everyday costs for care and a vet technician is bringing Gizzy home every night because he requires around-the-clock care.

Manitoba Mutts has set the ambitious goal of raising $6,000 for Gizzy’s wheelchair and rehab costs.

You can donate online.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Gizzy was nine months old. We regret the error.

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