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This fundraiser ended on 04/30/11

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Charger and I are asking friends and family to help him survive for many years to come.

UPDATE: Charger is out of surgery and at home recuperating. It's going to be about 2 weeks before he's in the clear for good.

I first saw Charger in 2007 on a website. Charger, an Aussie shepherd mix, was then five months old. I had just started working at the American Humane Association and decided I had the time, attention, and salary to adopt and foster a special needs dog. He had been severely abused and his back legs were paralyzed.

For us both, it was love at first sight and we’ve been together for a little over 3 ½ years. The first time he met me, he didn’t bark, which for the Charger of today seems practically impossible. His story I’m sure is similar to other dogs, except that I was there to help.
His story started on a reservation in New Mexico, and a call into an animal shelter to come pick up a paralyzed puppy or otherwise he’d be shot. He was transported to a shelter where I found him. He is now full of spunk, wanting to play, and fearless. He may be paralyzed, but no one told him he’s disabled, cause he’s not.

When I got him, he had exposed bone and tendon from hopping – pre wheels. I got him special carts so that he could move. He’s since been through many carts, because he tends to break their frames.
We’ve connected with every cart company. All, except the first, cost me out of pocket. We’ve gone to every specialist I could reach, including some who have told me that I should put him down. We’ve gone through many difficult times, and right when I think he’s stable, something else goes wrong.

With exposed bone and tendons, I had to learn how to wrap his legs and clean his wounds, a difficult task for someone who has a queasy stomach. Regardless, I did it for him. I learned about doggy diapers and cleaning up messes since I was told he couldn’t control his bladder when I got him. Within the past 6 months he started getting lesions on his legs because of the wraps. So, we were instructed by the Vet to remove his leg wraps so his wounds would open in hopes they heal.

Unfortunately, despite hoping, his left leg has worsened.
I have been unemployed for the past month, living off of my vacation pay since being laid off.
The past few days I realized Charger’s left foot has gone limp. This was scary for me, not knowing what was wrong, if he’s in pain, and now, how much is it going to cost and how to pay for it.

We went to the emergency room, with not much of a choice. There my fear was confirmed. The doctor has said Charger’s foot is fractured in many spots and that his leg is infected. The infection has spread, but is isolated to his left leg, and he needs surgery immediately and that amputation is probably the best option. His foot (possibly his whole leg) is going to have to be amputated and it’s going to cost ‘several thousand dollars,’ after all surgeries, anesthesia and hospitalization. After talking with the doctor, we decided to stabilize him until today to see if the original shelter could do anything.

Charger is currently on three types of antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection. And will have to be put on a stronger antibiotic after surgery. Should he not have surgery, Sepsis will likely set in and I’ll have to put him down. This to me is just not an option.

Charger is devoted to me, and I to him. I love him as if he were my son. So now, I've found a hospital that's willng to work with me and we've received a small grant for his double amputation. I can afford his daily care but not this major surgery and hospitalization. I’m running out of time, and am asking for help, please.

Raquel and “Charger” Flores
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