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Grab a Tissue: Dog Whose Legs Were Hacked Off Gives Us Hope

An abusive owner mutilated a Maltese named Fabio and dumped him in a shelter. Fortunately, things are looking up.

 |  Mar 13th 2013  |   22 Contributions


Fabio, a small, white-haired Maltese, had his back legs hacked off by a former owner to keep him from escaping. That's all Fabio did wrong, as far as Florida Poodle Rescue can make out. Thankfully, the rescue has the little dog now.

"His legs were cut off by his ex-owner so he couldn't climb a chain-link fence," said Joani Ellis of the rescue, according to ABC News. "Fabio's bone is just covered with skin, so it hurts him when he stands or walks."

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The remaining part of Fabio's legs can still reach the ground, but it hurts to put pressure on the points.

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Fabio tucks her legs up when she runs.

The injury doesn't stop Fabio from playing and running. The little dog scampers around with a big smile on his face. Soon, however, he won't have to hide his pain. Ellis is working with Dr. Allison Barca on getting Fabio outfitted with special boots.

"They're going to make impressions and make him some boots so he can walk without pain," Ellis said. "It's my hope that he will be able to run and play. He so wants to, like a normal dog."

"Fabio does not need us. Fabio's making it on his own," Dr. Barca told ABC News. "We're just going to try to make it better for him. I just think he needs something to help the stumps to feel comfortable ... and to keep them protected from hitting the ground." 

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Before Florida Poodle Rescue got him, Fabio had been dropped off at a shelter in Miami, his back legs hacked off above the paw joint. Based on the calluses that have formed, vets think it happened within the last year. 

“The story was that his feet were cut off because he was trying to be an escape artist,” Ellis said. "And if that’s the worst he ever did, I think the punishment was certainly more than his crime.”

Dr. Barca was part of a group that treated Molly the Shetland pony to a prosthetic leg after Hurricane Katrina, and she has high hopes for Fabio. She's located in New Orleans, so Ellis and Fabio will soon fly there. Louisiana is also the location of Dag's House, a rehab home for dogs with special needs and physical challenges, where Fabio will get to try out his new shoes. He'll be in good hands. 

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"We have everything under the sun in disabilities, ranging from birth defects, trauma, dogs that were hit by cars, shot by guns, run over by vehicles," said Kim Dudek, founder of Dag's House. "We've done a lot of rehab and rehoming of dogs that have had traumatic incidents." 

After that? Ellis hopes to find someone to adopt Fabio -- together with his blind Maltese companion, Lady, who survived life with the abusive former owner alongside Fabio.  

Via ABC News

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