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Injured dog has HOPE for recovery
Daphne the Chihuahua sits with HOPE Rescue director Brenda Sutherland. The dog is being treated for a broken back. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN / The Journal
Turlock rescue group has extended a helping hand to a dog in need of extensive medical treatments and tender loving care.
Daphne the Chihuahua came to HOPE Rescue in November 2009 with a broken spine. She was taken to the Turlock Animal Shelter when a  fence fell on her back earlier that month. Brenda Sutherland, director of HOPE, heard that the little dog was in need of special care and took her in, in hopes of healing her and adopting her out to a loving family.
Daphne was unable to walk when she first came to HOPE, as she had open sores on her hind legs from where they scraped across the ground as she dragged herself along. Just two months later she is doing much better. She is full of energy and loves to play. She doesn’t seem to notice her disability, as she chases around after her caretaker using her two good legs. She is even able to walk for very short amounts of time, but tires very easily.
“The prognosis is very good, we think she will walk some day,” Sutherland said.
In the mean time, however, Daphne is in need of a wheelchair to get around. The special chair would help Daphne build leg muscle and get around more easily. With this new chair she would be like any other dog, free to roam around the house and chase after Sutherland’s cats.
The chair costs $150, and that is money that HOPE doesn’t have. The nonprofit, no-kill rescue is funded entirely through private donations. They spend all of the money on their spay and neuter program and on special needs animals like Daphne.
The 9-month-old Chihuahua also needs acupuncture treatments once a week to help relieve the compression in her spine. The treatments cost $65 a session, and HOPE can’t afford to put Daphne through all four months of therapy.
Sutherland said that HOPE will continue to treat Daphne, but it may be at the cost to other programs. They may have to take in less homeless animals, or spay and neuter less cats. The next few months are the beginning of “kitten season,” a time when the local cat population explodes. Less spays and neuters could mean more homeless cats in the Turlock area.
HOPE is currently accepting donations for Daphne’s treatment and wheelchair fund. Checks and other donations can be sent to HOPE Rescue at P.O. Box 1489, Turlock CA, 95381. Any money specified for Daphne will be used for her treatment.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.