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Homeless Young Poodle Mix Needs Leg Amputation, Additional Surgery to Live All-New Life

“Jo Jo” Traveled from Tennessee to Massachusetts for Life-Changing Procedures and the Opportunity to Find New Loving Home

BOSTON, Oct. 26, 2023 – Jo Jo the three-month-old Poodle-mix was living at the Humane Education Society in Tennessee, winning the hearts of staff with her loveable and friendly demeanor. They wanted nothing more than to give Jo Jo the perfect life she deserves, but they knew that would not be possible without serious medical intervention that they would not be able to provide. So, they called the MSPCA-Angell for help.

“Jo Jo has problems with both her front and hind right legs,” explained MSPCA-Angell Director of Adoption Centers and Programs, Mike Keiley. “The Humane Education Society—like many shelters across the country—is dealing with an overpopulation of dogs and a slowdown in adoptions, not to mention a shortage of veterinary staff.”

“When that’s the case, the focus needs to be on basic care to keep animals healthy, like vaccines and spay/neuter, so when complicated cases like Jo Jo arrive, they can’t get the care that they need, and that’s where we come in,” he added.

A Long Road Ahead

Jo Jo has a front right leg deformity that renders it unusable. Shelter staff have described it as looking like a lobster claw.

“It was immediately clear that Jo Jo needs to have that leg amputated, which, alone, is pretty simple,” expanded Keiley. “But, unfortunately, she also can’t walk on her hind right leg.”

“She has what’s called a tibial crest fracture that’s causing her pain. We don’t know how she got the injury, but we do know that surgery will give her the best chance to use the leg and have a comfortable life.”

Dr. Jennifer Peterson-Levitt, a board-certified surgeon at Angell West in Waltham, is scheduled to perform Jo Jo’s rear right leg surgery on Thursday, October 26.

“Our established network of animal welfare partners knows that we’re their go-to for cases like Jo Jo’s because we’re in the unique position to be able to help every step of the way.”

“We have the infrastructure to transport her to Massachusetts, veterinary surgeons at both Angell in Boston and Angell West who can diagnose her and perform complicated surgeries, as well as incredible shelter teams who will ensure her follow up care and help place her in the perfect home when she’s ready,” Keiley expounded.

Help Jo Jo!

Jo Jo is expected to undergo multiple surgeries—first to repair her injured hind leg and then, when that is healed, veterinarians will amputate her front right leg. The procedures and related care are expected to cost up to $15,000. Anyone who would like to donate to help offset that cost may do so at

“Jo Jo is a really special dog, but given the level of help she needs, she’ll need to stay in foster care until she’s ready for adoption,” said Keiley, noting that the MSPCA will post updates on her status on its social media pages.

“This is a perfect example of how important foster homes are for us. They play a critical role in helping ensure that many animals are able to get the care they need and recover in a loving environment until they’re ready to start their next chapters. Unfortunately, we’re really short on foster homes for dogs right now.”

The MSPCA asks that anyone willing and able to foster a dog head to to learn more and sign up.