A puppy missing for more than a week has been returned to her owner without her hind legs.
The owner and the veterinarian who saved the dog’s life believe the animal should have never been injured the way she was in the first place.
“I was training her. She could already stand on her hind legs and turn around and walk,” said the dog’s owner, Janna Sumner.
Now little Lola, a 9-month-old Chihuahua mix, has no hind legs to stand on. She shakes and struggles as she balances on her front paws.
“She’s been through a horrific experience,” Sumner said.
Lola’s ordeal started on the Fourth of July. Sumner, her family and their three little dogs had staked out the perfect spot for the perfect view of the fireworks at the Snake River RV park.
Lola was startled by the fireworks.
“She took off like a shot,” Sumner recalled.
The dog broke away from the fence she was tied to and darted up Lindsey Boulevard.
“They tried to catch her, but she was going too fast,” Sumner said.
Sumner would not give up on her pup. The Montana resident stayed in Idaho Falls for days. She walked around knocking on doors, calling out for Lola. She even took to Facebook for help, but a lost dog poster designed by a good Samaritan is what saved the day.
“(Lola) dragged herself into these peoples’ yard,” Sumner said. “And she just laid down in their irrigation ditch.”
The owners of the home, which is more than two miles from the RV park, recognized Lola from the poster. They took her to the veterinarian and contacted Sumner.
“Pretty bad,” Dr. Garth Waddoups remembered of Lola’s condition when she arrived. “She was emaciated, very dehydrated.”
She was also missing her hind legs.
“(It) looked like she had been caught in a leg hold trap,” Waddoups said. “And I think she chewed both her hind legs off to get free.”
Leg hold traps are not uncommon, but they are illegal in Idaho Falls if they cause any pain to the animals they catch.
Waddoups thinks Lola had been stuck in the trap for days.
“If someone found her within 24 hours, she wouldn’t have lost both her legs,” Waddoups said.
“These traps should not be out there,” Sumner said.
Sumner might not ever know where the trap was or who set it, but she does know that there’s still a long road to recovery for Lola.
“I’m just hoping that she will be able to have a better, good, happy life, and a good quality of life. That’s the best I can do — besides give her lots of treats,” Sumner laughed.
Sumner is considering fitting Lola with prosthetic legs and has started a Facebook page to raise money.
To donate, visit facebook.com/Legs4Lola