Puppy With Serious Injury Makes A Dramatic Move To Finally Find Help

Botswana is landscaped with vast grasslands and dry deserts. The land is harsh and unforgiving, even for its native animal residents, like lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and large elephants. Life is a constant battle, and only the fittest will survive…

So researchers were absolutely shocked and confused when a paralyzed puppy dragged herself into their remote camp one day. The little dog, Poppy, was gravely injured and her fate was up in the air until an unlikely chain of events happened.

Susanne Vogel and her team work in the northern Okavango region, a remote area of Botswana. They conduct elephant research throughout the African region, which is heavily run by very large elephants.

Ecoexist / Facebook

You can imagine the team’s surprise when they saw a puppy dragging itself into camp one day. Botswana is full of deadly predators, so the researchers were quite baffled at how she even managed to survive thus far.

“She came crawling — literally crawling because her back legs were completely immobilized — into our research camp,” Susanne said. “She was unable to walk, but full of love and seeking help.”


The team assessed the puppy’s condition and quickly realized that she had been involved in some type of accident. It crushed her spine and left her lower half completely paralyzed. She was on her own and clearly desperate.

The researchers took her in and named her Poppy. They cleaned her, fed her, and built up her strength before taking her to the nearest veterinarian.

Poppy and the team traveled eight hours on dangerous terrain before taking a ferry across the river to the veterinary office. Here is where they’d find out Poppy’s chance of survival…

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After a thorough examination, they learned that she was most likely around seven months old and that she might need major spinal surgery if she was going to make it to adulthood.

Unfortunately, the veterinarian told the researchers that Poppy’s survival was slim at best. They refused to believe it and knew there was something very special about the pup — Poppy was a fighter.

Poppy continued to eat, heal, and bond with her rescuers. They couldn’t believe her will to fight, given her circumstances. As she grew stronger, her bubbly personality and resilient spirit became impossible for anyone to ignore.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

Amanda, from the vet clinic, made a GoFundMe account to help raise money for Poppy’s future care, surgeries, and medical expenses. They humbly asked the public to help raise $3,000 to give Poppy the chance to live.

News of Poppy’s story quickly spread across social media. The GoFundMe page exploded overnight and they met their $3,000 goal. In fact, the fundraiser raised over $10,000 for Poppy’s care.

As Poppy grew stronger they reassessed her progress. She was getting healthier, but the veterinarian was still concerned about performing surgery out of fear she wouldn’t make it.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

They agreed to try some anti-inflammatory medication teamed with physical therapy to strengthen her back legs. They even got special permission to let Poppy use a local pool for water therapy.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

Additionally, with the help of a special elastic band, vet volunteers also worked on trying to get Poppy to stand on her own. It wasn’t easy, but she was up for it!

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

Amanda shared on the GoFundMe page, “Our plan now is to get her ready in the next month for travel to Johannesburg where she can see a specialist, and we can make a decision about whether surgery is needed or what the next steps might be for a wheelchair and a new home.”

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

Poppy was making some serious progress and was able to stand on her own four paws for a few seconds at a time. She was also able to move her back legs slightly when she was lying down or being held. It was time to travel to Johannesburg for her MRI and prognosis.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

In Johannesburg, it was revealed that Poppy’s spinal chord was completely severed between two vertebrates and there was fluid and swelling around the injury. Surgery wouldn’t make a difference in Poppy’s recovery.


The good news was Poppy had shown no signs of pain since her therapy had begun. The vet believed the best option was for Poppy was to be fitted for a set of wheels to help her race around.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

The good news didn’t stop there. Poppy’s journey was going to take her back to the states where she would get her “furever” home with MaryBeth Hastings and her loving family.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

The future was so dim the day Poppy dragged herself into the research camp. Now, Poppy lives a happy, healthy life in Washington, D.C. with her loving family. Her future is the brightest it’s ever been.

Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts / Facebook

Animal shelters and volunteers all over the world do incredible work every day, rescuing poor creatures like Poppy, nurturing them and getting them ready for their new loving homes. Here are some more of the most amazing dog rescue stories we’ve ever seen…

1. Rasta. He was so filthy when he was found in the streets of Montreal, that it was hard to tell that he was actually a dog. But look at him now!

2. Miley. She was found in a trash pile, badly injured and not able to walk. Now completely healthy, Miley lives with her new forever family.

3. Kenzi. Abuses and neglected, Kenzi’s transformation shows what impact some TLC can make.

4. Ellen. After 2 pounds of extremely matted fur was shaved away, 2-year-old Ellen is ready to meet her new family.

5. Dolly. After she was spotted eating from a trash can in Los Angeles, Hope For Paws rescued this charming poodle, removing 10 pounds of fur from the 15-pound pup.

6. Theo. When his owners moved away, they left poor Theo to live on the streets, where he spent about a year before being rescued by Hope For Paws.

7. Little Betty. Abandoned by her owners, this beautiful little girl is now ready for a new home.

8. Woody. After his owner passed away, Woody was abandoned on the streets. He hid for months and wouldn’t let anyone near him, but was eventually rescued and nurtured back to health.

9. Treasure. A 2-year-old purebred miniature poodle, Treasure was severely neglected and couldn’t walk because of her heavily matted hair. A passing motorist brought her to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, and a visit to the vet made the beautiful Treasure emerge again.

10. Alana. When she was surrendered to the shelter Alana was so dirty she was almost unrecognizable as a dog. She had to be shaved completely to be given her vaccinations. Since then, this sweet little dog found her forever home.

11. Boo. She was found on the side of the road, soaking wet and stinking of urine. After being cleaned up and groomed, Boo weighted only 2.8 pounds and looks adorable.

12. Iggy. This poor guy was found in Mexico with a horrible eye infection, and barely alive. After a kind soul shared a picture of him on Facebook, people were touched and donated money to transport him into the United States and treat his injury. He is now a perfectly healthy boy who loves nothing more than to run around and play with everyone.

13. Vita. A man found Vita starving and close to death in a junkyard in Los Angeles. After months of rehabilitation and dedicated care, she’s now a perfectly healthy girl.

14. Cedar. Cedar was named after the golf course close to where he was waiting to be picked up by someone. Hairless as a result of stress and severely malnourished, his bones were poking through his skin. He has since found a loving home where he fits right in.

15. Olivia. On the left is Olivia on the day she was picked up from an animal shelter by her current owner, and on the right is a recent picture from one year later. What a transformation.


16. Shrek. He was found covered in sores and with filthy fur all caked with dirt. When his excess hair was removed and his wounds treated, Shrek was revealed to be a 6-year-old maltipoo dog that was raised at a puppy mill. He then soon found a loving home.


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