Paralyzed dog gets 2nd chance with new wheels; needs a home

INDIANAPOLIS - Most pet owners would do pretty much anything for their dog. But would they step forward to help a non-pet? An Indy man has done just that, putting hundreds toward an animal he barely knows, and the results are truly touching.

The only catch: The dog now needs help finding his forever home.

Meet Trooper. He’s a German Shepherd mix with a problem: His back legs don’t work.

No one knows exactly what happened to the 1-year-old dog, but it’s suspected he was hit by a car. He was discovered on the southwest side of Indianapolis a few months ago, covered in wounds and dragging himself around.

That’s where one man came in: Iraq War veteran James Burge lives in Indy. He met Trooper at Indianapolis Care & Control two months ago.

“He just came scooting along like he had no cares or worries in the world, just that can-do spirit,” Burge said. “It affected me immediately -- made me realize that I don’t have any problems. ‘If he doesn’t have any problems, I don’t have any problems.’ I told (Trooper) that night, ‘Little dog, I’m going to buy you a new set of wheels.’”

Trooper was picked up by Rescue Farm before Burge could do that, though. He was taken to Poland, Ind., but Burge didn’t forget, and last month as the new shelter searched for funds to get the disabled dog some wheels, Burge stepped forward with the $500 to make it possible.

Now, in early April, Trooper’s a new dog. He runs and plays with no idea anything’s wrong; he just knows he can get around again.

Trooper was fitted with this custom set of wheels last week. Now, the stray dog who, just 2 months ago, was covered in cuts and sliding himself along the grass, is rolling right along.

Burge says he has made it a point to stay in touch with the dog.

“He might be paralyzed from the waist down, but it doesn’t affect him at all,” Burge said. “He’s a trooper!”

The story doesn’t end there, though. Next, Trooper needs a family, which for this unique dog will be an undertaking. Trooper’s caretakers say among other things, his new family will need to be able to lift roughly 50 pounds to get him in and out of his wheels.

If you or anyone you know could be up to the task, head here to find out how to contact the shelter and learn more about Trooper.

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