Photo by Christopher Arnold, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — An 8-year-old dachshund mix at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County has rolled his way into a lot of hearts.
Kody, who was turned into the shelter when his owner could no longer care for him, has no use of his back legs but that hasn’t slowed him down one bit. Thanks to a K-9 cart donated to the animal shelter, Kody has been zipping around the shelter hallways, chasing whatever feline seems to cross his path.
“If all of us had his attitude, there would be fewer problems in the world,” said Ilka Daniel, director of animal protective services. “He high-tails it down the hall; he doesn’t even recognize his disability.”
Daniel said the Humane Society has taken Kody to see Dr. Ronald Lyman, a veterinarian who specializes in neurology at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Fort Pierce.
“Spinal injuries are quite common in dogs with a long back,” said Daniel. “We do not know the nature of the injury but Dr. Lyman said he did not feel that surgery would be helpful and felt that he possibly had a disc injury that was longstanding. With supportive care and regular veterinary checkups for urinary tract infections, he felt Kody could live a normal life.”
When Kody was turned over to the shelter, his former owner had built a homemade wheelchair out of wheels, straps, PVC pipe and pool noodles for cushioning to help Kody with his mobility. But thanks to a donation to the shelter and a lot of mechanical work by staff, Kody now has a custom K-9 cart the staff calls “a red racer.”
Animal care technician Emily Lanham has been caring for Kody at the shelter and says he has a happy, pleasant disposition.
“He acts just like a normal dog,” Lanham said. “It doesn’t seem to faze him that his back legs don’t work.”
Janet Winikoff, director of education at the Humane Society, said anyone interested in adopting Kody will need to recognize his special needs, and agree to frequent veterinary visits.
“There’s nothing to indicate that his life will be shortened because of the disability,” Winikoff said. “If he’s properly cared for, he could easily live to be 15 or 16.”
Daniel said she’s grateful every time someone makes a donation to help the animals at the shelter. Kody’s wheels were donated by Linda Goodson.
“This is going to give Kody a new lease on life,” Daniel said. “He has some new, hot wheels.”
WANT TO ADOPT KODY?
The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County is looking for a special home for Kody. Applicants will be screened to make sure they can provide the proper care for an animal with a disability. For more information, contact the shelter at 772-388-3331.