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Dare is an example of the horrors of puppy mills. He came to the Colorado Sheltie Rescue with four other dogs from a puppy mill in Kansas.  Please keep Dare in mind when you consider buying a cute little puppy at a pet store.  This story is very typical of what happens in the mills.  It is not advertised this way and no living being should ever be allowed to suffer so someone can make a buck.

Dare was surrendered by the mill owner because he could not be sold missing his left rear leg and having his left front leg broken in several places.  Dare was not born this way.  His rear leg was removed (not by a veterinarian) and his front leg was broken in a traumatic accident, most likely inflicted by another dog.  Puppy mill owners will not pay to fix injuries that occur while the dogs are in their possession.  It cuts into their profits.  Dare had to walk on his elbow until the Colorado Sheltie Rescue tried to fix his left front leg.  Since he was also missing the hind leg on that same side, he frequently fell over to the left.  But he never let that stop him!  He just got right back up and continued on his way.  He was a very tiny boy when the Rescue got him.  He was only 3 pounds at 4 months old.

Our vet performed a surgery to repair his front leg and the bones were straightened as much as possible.  In addition, a plate and bone graft was used to try to make the leg longer.  After several months, the leg appeared to heal well, but was shorter than his other legs.  We believed this would be an improvement over what he had and would allow him some mobility as well.  Unfortunately, the plate started rubbing through his skin and it had to be removed.  Once the plate was removed, the stability was removed and his leg broke again two weeks later.  Since we were not able to save his front leg, we started working on prosthesis for him.

We worked with a local animal hospital to get him a new leg.  This entire process took over two years.  The hospital implanted a piece of metal into Dare’s front stump.  The intention was to have a leg insert into the metal implant.  It took five months to get the leg after the metal implant was completed.  However, the leg was five inches too short and was useless.  As time went by, Dare was still unable to use the prosthesis leg and unfortunately, the hospital informed us that they would no longer be supporting this program.  Dare was on his own.

Dare’s Mom, Tami, was dedicated to Dare and took him swimming several times a week to keep that stump flexible and strong.  When the local animal hospital informed us that they would no longer work with Dare, Tami took him to the CSU vet school to see if they could come up with a solution for him.  Sadly, after doing x-rays of his implant, they informed her that because so much time elapsed between the placement of his implant and the leg being attached (almost one year), the bone around the implant weakened and died; therefore, the implant had to be removed.  Tami is currently working with another local company that creates braces and external prosthetics for dogs, so that Dare can be more mobile.

Despite all of the medical treatments and numerous surgeries Dare has had during his first few years, he is a very happy dog.  He loves everyone he meets.  He is an inspiration to us all.  He excels in his therapy work with children and adults with disabilities and other amputees.  He is an incredible spokesman for the Colorado Sheltie Rescue and the Denver Pet Partners.  Every chance they get, Dare and Tami get the word out about the horrible conditions he came from and the horrors of dogs living in puppy mills.