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Paraplegic dog gets a second chance

Posted at 10:08 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 01:42:31-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Lola loves treats and can give you a high-five.
 
While the 12-year-old pup likes to do all the things other dogs do, her two back legs are paralyzed. Lola walks on her two front paws, her back legs up in the air, and her stride draws quite a bit of attention.
 
"She gets everything from, 'there's a circus dog' to 'did you teach her to do that?'" said Jan Elster, Lola's owner.
 
Once people learn Lola's story, Elster says, they always comment on how brave she is.
 
Lola was brought to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona as a puppy. No one really knows what happened to her or how she was paralyzed. Elster believes she could have been hit or dropped, and she's often fearful of strangers. 
 
"After the blunt trauma, which wasn't apparently treated medically, I think she just didn't have socialization," Elster said. "I don't think there was a person who took care of her or helped her along."
 
Lola taught herself how to walk on just two legs.
 
Each year the Humane Society takes in about 1,700 animals like Lola. Some are blind, need surgery, or behavioral help before they find forever homes.  The Second Chance Fund helps the non-profit pay for costly medical care. Those animals have often been victims of abuse, need special surgery, or have been surrounded by domestic violence. 
 
When Lola was brought in, she needed X-rays to figure out what was wrong with her. Because she had been hurt and not treated, surgery could not have corrected her injuries.
 
"Without the Second Chance program, it might have been harder to adopt Lola because it was really important to find out what was going on with her, before an adoption could be done," Elster said. 
 
The fund is hoping to raise $40,000, and is asking for donations from the community
 
Elster wants people to know that animals with special needs like Lola make great pets, and may just need a little extra love.
 
"Just make sure that you have the time, and if it is something that needs extra finances, make sure you have the finances," Elster said.
 
Lola was only supposed to live to be 9, but has made it to 12, Elster said. The dog doesn't have any major health issues, but she does get tired from putting so much weight on two legs.
 
You can follow Lola on Instagram under the username @lolathelionhearted.