GLENWOOD SPRINGS - A dog once injured and abandoned in the city of Glenwood Springs is now healthy enough to find a new home.
Ernie was found as a stray along the road in December. A kind-hearted man took the dog home for the night.
The next day, he called Animal Control who brought the small dog to the Colorado Animal Rescue.
Once at the rescue, veterinarians discovered Ernie's back legs weren't working and he could not walk. There were no visible injuries or signs of long-term disability.
Veterinarians couldn't pinpoint exactly what had happened, but they knew Ernie had a slight spinal injury and his legs had atrophied, which meant they no longer worked because they were injured and not being used.
Director of the Rescue Leslie Rockey says since December the Rescue has been helping Ernie's legs become stronger and healthier with help from the doctors at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic.
Ernie's regimen has included acupuncture, chiropractic work, physical therapy and nerve stimulation.
The best sign of all? Ernie can now wag his tail! He's also standing on his own to eat his kibble.
A local clinic also donated a cart for Ernie to use when he goes on walks or out for exercise. The rescue is getting a better-fitted cart made for the dog as well.
Over the past few weeks, Ernie has responded well and the shelter announced this week he is ready to find a forever home.
Lately, he's been populating the shelter's main lobby, getting to know the people around him. He's become quite social.
Ernie is a small-breed mix, possibly with beagle in him, and the shelter says he is about five years old and 25 pounds.
Ernie would do best in a home with either multiple people, or a family that is home often to help him get around.
He may never be able to walk, but he's got a great big heart!
"Ernie truly has a heart of gold, and is a real fighter-- he has inspired all of us here at the shelter and touched the hearts of every person he's encountered!" the shelter said on their Facebook page.
There are plenty of other animals looking for great homes in the Glenwood Springs area, too. For more information, visit http://www.coloradoanimalrescue.org/ or call 970-947-9173.
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