One Leg Short, But Full of Heart: A German Shepherd’s Inspiring Escape from Adversity

Found chained at an outdoor carwash with a visibly injured foot, Coco was being used as a makeshift “guard dog”. When a concerned citizen reported the young German Shepherd’s plight, a San Jose Animal Control Officer intervened. Recognizing the severity of Coco’s foot injury, the officer persuaded the car wash owner to surrender the pup saying that the dog’s injuries would likely cost a lot of money. The man was happy to surrender the dog. This marked the beginning of Coco’s transformative journey from adversity to hope and joy.

The Decision To Amputate

Upon his rescue, Coco’s challenges were far from over. Initial medical examinations revealed a tumor on his right foot. While the tumor was benign, complications arose. The wound wouldn’t heal, leading to daily bandage changes and increasing concern. Further examination by an orthopedic surgeon unveiled a congenital defect: Coco was born without ligaments in his right foot. This birth defect, hidden by the tumor, presented a difficult decision for his caregivers.

coco - 3-legged german shepherd

After much deliberation and with Coco’s best interests at heart, the tough decision was made to amputate the leg at the shoulder. This would give Coco the best quality of life without the need for additional surgeries or therapies in the future. The post-surgery period saw Coco adapting with remarkable speed and resilience. Today, he thrives as a tripawed pup, his left front leg showing impressive muscle development. He runs, jumps, and plays with an energy that belies his early hardships.

Spotlight with the San Jose Barracuda

In a heartwarming turn of events, Coco had the opportunity to spend a delightful afternoon with the San Jose Barracuda, the city’s renowned hockey team. The team, always eager to support community causes, featured Coco in both photos and videos alongside one of their star players. This special collaboration aimed to raise awareness about Coco’s journey and the importance of adopting and supporting rescue animals. The event not only gave Coco a day of fun and excitement but also shone a spotlight on his inspiring story, reaching a wider audience and potential adopters.

Coco is in foster care as he waits for his forever home. Living with two older four-legged siblings, Coco’s playful and loving nature shines through. He’s not part of a bonded pair, but he cherishes the company of other fur friends. His interactions with humans are equally endearing. Though he can be a tad jumpy in his puppy exuberance, a firm voice and a short walk are all it takes to calm him. Coco is eager to please, responding well to verbal cues.

House trained from day one, Coco’s list of loves includes car rides, toys, and walks. He’s still mastering the art of the leash, especially when meeting new friends, but he’s a quick learner. His intelligence, paired with his goofy and affectionate nature, makes him a joy to be around.

Looking For His Forever Home

Coco’s story is a testament to the power of love, care, and resilience. From a chained pup at a carwash to a joyful, three-legged ball of energy, his journey is a beacon of hope and a reminder that with love and care, even the most challenging beginnings can lead to happy endings.

coco - 3-legged german shepherd

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