Dog with prosthetic legs giving hope to human amputees

Posted at 10:03 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 09:53:24-04

A quadruple amputee Valley dog named Chi Chi is inspiring people around the world as a therapy dog who never gave up after a rough start at life. 

The Howell family adopted Chi Chi from South Korea after the dog was found in a trash bin with both her legs bound and tied with wire. 

A butcher deemed her unacceptable for meat and she was left to die. Once she was rescued, doctors said the only way to save her was by amputating all four of her legs. 

"There she was, smiling, wagging her tail," said Elizabeth Howell. "It was her eyes really that got me."

Elizabeth Howell saw video of Chi Chi online and had to give her a home in Arizona. 

The special needs dog is equipped with specially fitted prosthetic paws. She needs a bit of extra attention, but her family doesn't mind. 

"The little bit of work that I have to do to carry her down the stairs and put her shoes on, is nothing compared to the joy and the love she gives us and other people," said Richard Howell. "So I'll do it for the rest of her life."

And Chi Chi has worked hard to pass tests to get certified to help others. 

"It's amazing," said Megan Howell. "We always had this dream she would be a therapy dog and help other people recover from their challenges."

Now she visits the VA hospital and works with human amputees. 

"One of the women at the rehab facility just had her leg amputated, so it was still very bandaged," said Elizabeth. "She met Chi Chi and said to me, '"Well, I guess if she can do it with four legs, I can do it with one.'"

Chi Chi is meeting with a world-renowned prosthetic expert who will be fitting, designing and building her prosthetic paws right here in AZ. 

For ongoing medical expenses, her family has started a GoFundMe page. 

And Chi Chi is very active on social media. Her Facebook page can be found here.