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Animal Aid looking for special family for special dog

posted July 14th, 2019 by
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When Gabriel arrived in the care of Animal Aid of Tulsa in September 2018, his rescuers knew immediately that he was a special dog.

Photos provided by Victorious Salsman

Photos provided by Victorious Salsman

Found by a local fire department, the Tulsa Police Department contacted the group to take the dog who was believed to have been hit by a car. He was seen for a couple of days near Apache and Harvard dragging his back legs behind him before he could be caught and brought to a rescue.

Kelly Brown, Animal Aid animal care and adoption coordinator, said right off the bat Gabriel showed them his will to live was high.

“From the get go he has shown us that he is not different,” Brown said. “Once he is comfortable with you he is so playful, funny and full of personality. There is nothing different about him but the way he walks.”

Brown says the care for a dog in a wheelchair is not much greater than any other dog.

“It is not any more time consuming to express his bladder and help him into his wheelchair than to take any other dog for a walk,” Brown said.

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Gabriel with Salsman’s cat Kiki.

Coincidentally, Gabriel is named after Gabby Moore, a former vet tech at Animal Acupuncture. She and her foster dog Hildi, who also did not have use of her back legs, were featured in a previous issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine.

Gabby said to Kelly one night, “Just believe, give him a little bit of time but just believe,” about another dog that had given up. When Animal Aid took in Gabriel, which means to trust and put belief in, Brown told Moore she was naming the dog after her.

Veterinarians initially believed Gabriel would never be able to use his back legs. However, after water therapy with Animal Acupuncture, he is beginning to have more use of his back legs.

“Dr. Owen has believed in him from day one,” Victorious Salsman, his foster mom, said. “Thank God for her.”

He has reflexes but he doesn’t have feeling in his legs, like if you step on his foot, Salsman explained. “If he gets really excited about something, it’s like he forgets he can’t walk, he will stand up and walk. And it’s like ‘Oh if he only knew that he can!’”

On days he has water therapy in the pool or at Animal Acupuncture, for the rest of the day he will stand and he will plant his feet, Salsman said.

After his arrival at Animal Aid, he was in boarding, had a temporary foster and then came to Salsman’s home in early December. He is now in boarding again and in the process of transitioning to a new foster home.

“When he first came to me, I had no idea how to care for a disabled dog. The first two weeks were rough,” Salsman acknowledged. “It’s a learning process.”

Salsman says he is great with other dogs and cats but is slower to trust men than women, which may stem from past abuse.

“Once that trust is established you have his whole heart,” Salsman said. “Gabriel has zero care in the world that he can’t use his back legs. He is so happy, so loving, so full of life. He deserves a family that will give him that total commitment.”

You can fill out an application at: https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/iQ10YVPFd8SL9cwl1

You can also contact Animal Aid of Tulsa for more information at [email protected] or call Kelly Brown at 918-951-6138.

— Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Is the Tulsa City Council reading my blog?

posted January 14th, 2013 by
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Probably not, but it’s a nice thought. Either way, it seems the council and I have a similar item on our agendas for 2013.

This past week, an adoptable pet from Tulsa Animal Welfare was featured at the city council’s regular meeting, according to newson6.com. The council will continue to have furry guests of honor at the first meeting of each month.

A successful program in other towns, the hope is that the promotion will help more homeless animals get adopted.

This is a great step in bringing more awareness to Tulsa’s pet overpopulation problem. I love that it gets the faces of homeless animals in front of the community at large.

A lot of times, it feels as though the pet community is preaching to the choir.

I see the same faces at pet adoption fairs and the same volunteers showing off adoptable pets around town. Their passion is amazing, but we need more of the community to pay attention.

Responsible pet owners are already aware of all of the animals who need homes, but are oftentimes at max capacity on how many animals they can care for (like myself!).

The City Council’s initiative puts the problem in front of the community in an unexpected forum  and will hopefully reach people who may not have as much awareness of the pet overpopulation problem that Tulsa faces.

I am excited to see this program progress and start producing results!

Read more about the initiative here.

Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]