Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center
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January 04, 2019 01:27 PM

Champion is looking to be the prized pup in someone’s home.

The 7-month-old shepherd mix was recently rescued from an extreme hoarding situation and brought to Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California, for emergency assistance, the rescue shared in a press release.

Champion, who is named after the dog in the TV comedy Parks and Recreation, was pulled from a home in Arizona along with 50 other ailing animals by a rescue in November. The Arizona rescue soon realized that the puppy was having trouble walking on his front legs, causing him to have an exaggerated limp. Aware that Champion needed devoted medical attention, the Arizona rescue asked Helen Woodward, a partner shelter, to take the pup in.

Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center

A transport was arranged for Champion to San Diego, and soon the canine was getting a check-up from Helen Woodward’s medical staff. This closer look at the dog’s front legs revealed that one limb was severely broken in two places, including a break near the knee. Making matters worse, the injuries were months old and had already started to heal incorrectly, resulting in arthritis. Aware that the arthritis would only worsen and cause Champion more unnecessary pain, Helen Woodward’s medical staff made the difficult decision to amputate the affected leg.

Champion went through the surgery on Dec. 6, and was a “fighter” all the way through the three-hour operation, according to Helen Woodward. This can-do attitude overflowed into Champion’s rehabilitation. At a loving foster home, the pup eagerly acclimated to life on three legs, learning his basic commands at home to comfortably play.

Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center

“His confidence is growing each day. He will do great with a family that can be around to show him lots of encouragement, love and affection as these are truly his greatest desires,” Champion’s foster mom Rebekah said in a statement.

Thanks to his hard work, Champion is now in a place in his recovery where he is ready for a forever home. An energetic and affectionate pup, Champion is hoping to start 2019 on the right paw with a family who values his spirit and the struggles he overcame.

To learn more about Champion, and how you can adopt him, visit Helen Woodward Animal Center’s website.

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