A San Diego police officer who became an amputee in 2013 gained a kindred spirit when he adopted a 9-year-old Shih Tzu who is an amputee, too.
Detective Chappie Hunter of the San Diego Police Department lost his left leg in a motorcycle crash, and when he returned to work, he had a prosthetic leg.
On March 6, the San Diego Humane Society rescued two severely abused dogs from a home in Mira. The former owner had bound both dogs’ legs to stop them from scratching and licking—but had bound them so tightly that it had cut off blood circulation.
After the animals were removed from the home, Humane Society veterinarian Dr. Seth Mathus Ganz performed surgery on the animals. Sadly, the Shih Tzu, named Chloe, had to have both of her hind feet partially amputated.
Her counterpart, a 13-year-old Chihuahua named Roxy, had one of her hind legs removed, while the other was saved after a successful skin flap surgery.
After a recovery period, both dogs were outfitted with prosthetics, with Chloe getting a pair of orthopedic slippers for her hind feet, and Roxy getting a new hind leg.
The Shih Tzu was a perfect match for her new owner and his family, who adopted Chloe and recently welcomed her into their home in Alpine.
“One of the Humane Society officers that I’m friends with actually called and knew about Chloe and said that we’d be a great match and wondered if we could at least foster her in the time being,” Detective Hunter told ABC last week. “And I would say that almost instantly that both my wife and my son and I just fell in love with her and decided we wanted to keep her.”
Now, Chloe is already getting used to scooting around in her new slippers, which according to Human Society staff, shows progress.
“Fitting a dog with prosthetics is quite an involved process and this was a first for San Diego Humane Society,” said veterinarian Susan Garity in a press release. “It included sedation to create a mold of the feet, getting the prosthetics to fit perfectly and monitoring for pressure sores. It takes time for the dogs to learn to use them, but our staff is so dedicated and I am so grateful we had our whole organization’s support in giving these sweet dogs a second chance at some normalcy.”
As the family and their new best friend get acquainted with each other, they’re already off to a good start; both Chloe and Hunter have plenty in common to begin with.
“I really enjoy the fact that obviously she’s really been through some trauma like I was. She has her prosthetics, I have mine, and it’s just kind of neat to be able to work with her on that fact, and also know that, in actuality, I might actually kind of know what she’s feeling, and be a little bit more sensitive towards that,” Detective Hunter told the station.
“Other than that, she’s actually the one taking care of me, I think.”