‘My heart just melted:’ Charlie on the mend - Republic-Times | News

‘My heart just melted:’ Charlie on the mend

By on June 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Charlie was hit by a car when he was a year old and has coped with the injuries ever since. He has received care from Helping Strays and a Columbia couple that has improved his life drastically. (submitted photo)

Thanks to a local animal shelter and couple, a disabled dog is getting a second chance at life. 

When he was only a year old, Charlie the dog was struck by a car. As a result, he suffered a spinal cord injury that caused him, among other things, to lose movement in his legs. 

He also injured his left eye and dislocated both hips. 

In early January, four years after his accident, Charlie’s owner surrendered him to Helping Strays of Monroe County, an animal shelter dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating dogs and cats and finding them permanent homes. Charlie’s previous owner hoped the nonprofit could provide better care.

That hope was fulfilled, as the shelter provided the necessary care for Charlie largely because of the money donated to its Pet In Need fund. 

“We were fortunate to have the owner surrender him because Charlie needed so much medical attention and the owner was not capable of providing this,” shelter director Bill Dahlkamp explained. “We were able to get him a wheelchair, take care of his eye and meet his other needs to nurse him back to health.”

The process of rehabilitating Charlie required the shelter to surgically remove his eye, which was blind and infected, to improve his comfort and avoid further complications. 

He also began a regimen of hydrotherapy. For this treatment, the 5-year-old beagle and dachshund mix is placed on an underwater treadmill and encouraged to walk. 

In mid-January, Mark and Kathleen Thien of Columbia took Charlie home to foster him throughout his rehabilitation process.

“When I first saw him, my heart just melted for him because he was so cute and he needed help and somebody with a big heart like we have,” Kathleen, a part-time pharmacist who also volunteers at the shelter, said…>>>

Read the rest of this article in the June 13, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss