05 September 2012

NJ town and online community join together to find disabled rescue dog a home

On a hot summer day in July, a purebred Shih Tzu named Gordo was dumped at the New York City Animal Care and Control. He was unable to walk or express his bladder due to a spinal injury. His chance of adoption was next to zero.

Gordo was placed on a list to be killed. Local rescue groups work fervently to pull animals like Gordo before they are killed and he caught the eye of Pet ResQ Inc. A duo of dedicated volunteers—Kandi Cohn and Karen Colangelo—stepped in to rescue one and a half year old Gordo.

A veterinarian reported a grim prognosis. Gordo had no feeling in his back legs, and would need his bladder manually expressed four times a day. He would never walk.

Kandi and Karen persevered. The next day, they brought the sweet boy to a neurologist. An MRI indicated bruising on Gordo’s spine and a ruptured disk. The surgeon believed that Gordo had a chance to walk again.

The nonprofit did not have the funds to pay for the surgery and physical therapy that would follow. Kandi and Karen agreed to finance the surgery and raise funds for Gordo’s rehab and care. Surgery was scheduled for the next day.

After a few days recovering from surgery, Gordo was transferred to River Pet Resort and Rehab in Edgewater, New Jersey.

Gordo’s surgery and rehab bills were generously discounted. Still, as of today, his bill total over $8,000. Kandi and Karen asked friends and family for donations. Local businesses offered to assist with fundraising.

Gordo’s story captured hearts. A volunteer created a Facebook page to find Gordo a home. Within days, the page had over 300 fans from around the world. Updates were posted as Gordo improved and his fans responded with support. A post in French translated to, “I am happy to be part of the human race when I see that it conducts itself this way. Bravo.”

"Gordo has shown me the strength that we all have in us despite the odds,” said Karen. “We have seen him stand without assistance, wag his tail, move his legs on a walk on a sling, go to the bathroom on his own, and lift his leg to urinate. This is a long process and we are committed to the journey.”

Gordo is improving every day and is waiting for his forever home.

Post by Patricia E. Jones -- www.facebook.com/FindGordoAHome

Photo credit: www.facebook.com/FindGordoAHome