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Puppy Who Once Needed Wheelchair Walks Again with Help from the MSPCA-Angell West Rehabilitation Team

BOSTON and Waltham, Mass., Sept. 15, 2022 – “Trudi,” a two-year-old Pit Bull mix who once needed a wheelchair to walk and who arrived in Massachusetts in August as part of the organization’s transport operation, has a new lease on life thanks to the Physical Rehabilitation team at the MSPCA-Angell West in Waltham.

Dr. Amy Straut, physical rehabilitation veterinarian at Angell West, has been working with Trudi using hydrotherapy and land exercises, including obstacle courses and an underwater treadmill, to help the puppy run and walk in a safe manner that will allow her to enjoy life as an active dog.

Dr. Straut began working with Trudi following a consultation with Dr. Michele James of the Angell Animal Medical Center Neurology Service, who concluded that physical rehabilitation is the best path forward for the spirited dog.

Said Dr. Straut of Trudi’s progress: “She’s unstoppable. She was a little timid at first with some of the tools, like the wooden poles we used in our obstacle course,” she explained. “But in no time at all, she dove right into the exercises, bursting with energy.”

But like all dogs, Trudi did not immediately take to everything.

“We don’t know that much about her background but it was clear she didn’t have a lot of experience with water—and she really didn’t like it,” said Dr. Straut.  “But with lots of encouragement from our team, she started using [the treadmill] without issue. She really is a remarkably resilient dog.”

Dr. Straut said it is unlikely that the true cause of Trudi’s condition will ever be known.  “Given the condition in which Trudi came to us, we surmise that she experienced a spinal cord injury that has caused her problems walking,” she said.

From an Overcrowded Shelter to a New Life in Massachusetts

MSPCA-Angell staffers first met Trudi at Berkeley Animal Center in Moncks Corner, South Carolina in July, while there assisting with spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations as part of a program announced last spring.

“The area Trudi came from faces several challenges,” explained Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at MSPCA-Angell. “First, there’s serious overcrowding, with more animals coming in than shelters are able to adopt out, meaning a special dog like Trudi is competing with other healthy dogs and puppies that may appear more adoptable.”

“Also, Berkeley and other rural shelters in South Carolina don’t have the veterinary resources to give Trudi the specialized care she needs,” he added. “We send veterinary staff there to help fill the gap, but there’s only so much they can do. So, it made sense to bring Trudi here to help alleviate the overcrowding and also ensure she can get the specialized care she needs and be adopted into a home committed to helping her continue to learn.”

“Very Special” Adopter Needed!

“Trudi still needs some rehabilitation, including supervised appointments and at-home exercise,” said Keiley.  “But the great news is that she’s ready to be adopted! Her personality is really starting to shine. She’s such a happy dog, she’s fun, and she loves everyone that she meets. Trudi will be a great addition to a lucky family.”

The MSPCA is looking for adopters that are committed to continuing Trudi’s rehabilitation and training, as well as making sure that she has enough time to play. Those interested in adopting Trudi may apply at