Disabled foster dog in Summerside gets new wheels with community help

Jo-Anne Praught has been fostering Ritz since December. Ritz can't walk on his own and she posted about looking for used dog stroller to try. She didn't get a used stroller but she did get $1,500 in donations.

'Ritz and I are very grateful for all the support'

Since Ritz can't walk on his own, this stroller helps him go with his owner on walks. (Laura Meader/CBC)

When Jo-Anne Praught put out a call on social media to help her foster a disabled dog, she didn't expect to get a big response. 

She was looking for a used dog stroller, since Ritz, a three-year-old shepherd mix, can't walk on his own. 

She didn't get the used stroller but she did get about $1,500 in donations in less than 24 hours to help buy a new stroller and pay for other expenses.

"It just kind of caught on like wildfire and I had over 40 people donate to purchase that stroller," said Praught.

"I was speechless and so grateful," she said. 

'His world has opened up so much more,' says Praught. (Laura Meader/CBC )

She said Ritz came to Save a Life Canada Animal Rescue Society after he was shot and abandoned on the side of the road in Texas.  

"He was shot in the back, which led to the paralysis of his back legs. He was found on the side of the road — probably there for a number of hours alone,"  she said.

"He's a strong little guy and he's persevered."

Praught said she used some of the money donated to get a new stroller for Ritz, which he's already enjoying, and to buy him a sweater as, being from Texas, he's not used to Canadian winters.

'People are really generous, even though probably 2020 was some people's hardest year,' Praught says. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Donations will help lots

Praught said the stroller arrived earlier this week and Ritz is already enjoying it as she takes him for walks a couple of times a day. 

"He's very sociable, and he's very loveable, and he loves to meet new people, so the stroller will help. When I go for walks he can now come with me," she said.

"His world has opened up so much more."

Jo-Anne Praught says she is very thankful for all the help she received. (Submitted by Jo-Anne Praught)

Ritz also has wheels which attach to his back, allowing him to walk on his own, but his current wheels are too small and in poor shape.

She used some of the donations to buy him a larger set of wheels and some will help cover upcoming surgeries he needs.

The rest of the money will go to the rescue group to help cover surgeries for other animals in their care.

Praught didn't ask for money in her social media posts, just help in finding a stroller, but she said receiving the generous donations is proof that "P.E.I. is a great place to live."

In foster care for now

Ritz is expected to be in foster care with Praught for a couple of months. 

He'll be neutered and get dental surgery while he's in Praught's care.

Ritz out for a walk recently in the stroller. (Submitted by Jo-Anne Praught)

She said he's not up for adoption yet, but when he has all his medical and equipment needs taken care of, his profile will be posted on the rescue dog website. 

She describes him as a friendly, loving dog and she's happy so many people reached out to help him. 

"People are really generous, even though probably 2020 was some people's hardest year, there's a lot of animal lovers on P.E.I." 

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