Abused dog Lt. Dan gets a new wheelchair -- and a new lease on life

Posted at 4:41 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-29 14:47:04-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- Remember Lt. Dan, the little dog rescued from abuse who lost use of his back legs?

Lt. Dan got an exciting and important gift on Friday: his own wheelchair.

"Lt. Dan was a little unsure of it at first, but he's very trusting with us and he tolerates the process really well," said Joanne Hurley from the Humane Society of Warren County. "When he got in it you could actually see a little pep in his step where he kind of trotted a little differently."

If you recall, Lt. Dan was one of 18 dogs rescued from a hoarding situation in Southeast Ohio. Officials said Lt. Dan was so neglected that he chewed of his own legs.

"Lt. Dan actually has a spinal fracture that has misaligned during the healing process," Hurley said when he was first rescued. "He also had fractured back legs, which either have gotten an infection and rotted away or, by a dog's nature, he might have chewed them away if they were useless to him."

Lt. Dan took to his new wheels pretty quickly, Hurley said -- he greeted our news crews at the front door of the shelter on Friday. But he's getting tuckered out pretty quickly.

"The vet has advised us that we need to do it in small increments each day," Hurley said. "We let him train a little bit, take him out and repeat this process over and over several times until he gets used to it and builds those muscles up."

Lt. Dan doesn't just have a new way to get around -- he has a new, loving family waiting for him.

Someone who saw Lt. Dan on the news called the humane society, Hurley said, and applied for adoption.

"She has five dogs at home, four of which are disabled," Hurley said. "Her house is accessible for disabled dogs. We're super excited about that because this is what she does and what she's good at." 

The Warren County Humane Society took in all 18, and 17 of which are still looking for homes. If you want to learn more about the dogs, visit the shelter's website or call 513-695-1176.