Rescued pup with disability uses wheelchair to get around


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A 3-month-old beagle named Howie was recently rescued by the Brunswick County Animal Protective Services.

Due to a spinal injury, he doesn’t have feeling in his back legs.

Josie Highsmith and her husband are fostering Howie and says it’s been a learning experience.

“We did not know what was wrong other than he couldn’t use his back legs so no one knew Howie’s story or how it happened,” Highsmith said.

With the help from the community, Howie is able to walk around using a wheelchair.

“Brunswick County Shelter’s Lieutenant Tolley put the word out that Howie needed some wheels and within the hour had enough money raised to purchase the wheels,” Highsmith said. “He’s quite quick on the wheels.”

Like most dogs, Howie loves to play, swim, and run, but the way he does it is just a little different.

They recently went to Eastern Carolina Veterinary Referral in Wilmington to get him checked out which is how they found about his injury. Now, Howie does physical therapy five days a week there.

“The goal is decrease the number of days that he is here, but we just want to give Howie what he needs,” Highsmith said.

Staff says the possibility of him walking normally is not likely, but they hope he can improve and maybe lose these wheels.

“It’s very hard to predict, especially with spinal core injuries, what the future holds,” Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Melissa Willis said. “That’s why we are trying to work with him intensively right now and see what kind of improvements we can get.”

“These little guys deserve a chance just like any other puppy,” Highsmith said.

Howie is also quite the celebrity on Facebook with more than 600 followers. You can follow his progress on that page, here.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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