Dog fitted with prosthetics adopted by SDPD Detective Chappie Hunter who lost leg in crash
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Chloe, one of two dogs rescued by San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement and fitted for prosthetics by the medical team at San Diego Humane Society’s Escondido Campus, is being adopted by a family who understands the challenges of having a leg amputated first hand.
SDPD Detective Chappie Hunter and his family have been fostering Chloe since her three-month recovery period at SDHS. The family has decided to keep her and make the adoption official. Detective Hunter lost his leg in a crash in Alpine in 2013. After a year of recovery, he returned to work with a prosthetic leg.
On March 6, 2021, San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers rescued Chloe and another dog named Roxy from a home in Mira Mesa. To prevent them from licking and scratching, their owner bandage-wrapped their back paws so tightly that it cut off blood flow. As a result, both dogs suffered severe injuries and the veterinarians at San Diego Humane Society had to make the difficult decision to amputate their feet.
Chloe, a 9-year-old Shih Tzu, had both her back feet partially amputated. Roxy, a 13-year-old Chihuahua, had her left hind foot partially amputated, and her right hind foot needed multiple weeks of bandaging followed by a skin flap procedure in order to be saved. A boarded veterinary surgeon, Dr. Seth Mathus Ganz of Agile Veterinary Surgery, was consulted for these complicated cases and performed surgeries on both Chloe and Roxy.
After their initial amputation procedures, Chloe’s and Roxy’s long road to recovery began. The medical team at San Diego Humane Society’s Escondido Campus tended their wounds with daily bandage changes and pain management, physical therapy that included sling walking, as well as teaching the dogs to use their wheelchair and prosthetic devices. Chloe was fitted with orthopedic slippers for both her back legs and Roxy has a custom prosthetic device on her left leg – with almost full use of her right hind leg.
“Fitting a dog with prosthetics is quite an involved process and this was a first for San Diego Humane Society,” said Veterinarian Susan Garity. “It included sedation to create a mold of the feet, getting the prosthetics to fit perfectly and monitoring for pressure sores. It takes time for the dogs to learn to use them, but our staff is so dedicated and I am so grateful we had our whole organization’s support in giving these sweet dogs a second chance at some normalcy.”
Roxy is currently in a foster home and likely has another month in her recovery. Chloe is ready to live her best life with Chappie Hunter and his family in Alpine.
SDPD Detective Hunter discusses the rescue and why he adopted Chloe with KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego.