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‘Scooter’ is Available to Adopters With Experience

A special-needs pooch is ready for a loving, forever home. The adopter, however, should have some level of experience owning a pet with paralysis.

On March 2 someone put a male, 8-year-old pit bull mix into one of the after-hours kennel runs at the county shelter in Jurupa Valley. Employees recognized immediately the dog was dealing with some type of physical ailment. Staff veterinarian Dr. Sara Strongin examined the dog and determined it lost the use of its hind legs due to a spinal cord injury.

Dr. Strongin said that the medical issues appeared to be recent. With that in mind, the dog was treated for pain as a cautionary measure. Several veterinary team members noted that the dog had a healthy appetite and drank plenty of water. Other employees noted that the dog was very friendly and wanted to follow them around.

“He easily warmed our hearts and we wanted to do everything in our power to save him,” said Jennifer Millard, a senior animal care technician who works closely with rescue group partners. She and her colleagues nicknamed the dog Scooter. “He was just such an affectionate dog that we owed it to him to give him that second chance.”

Representatives with the county’s many rescue partners are normally receptive to assisting Animal Services with special-needs dogs. However, this time, Scooter didn’t register on anyone’s radar. That is, until the moment Ms. Millard strapped a wheelchair on the dog. Once the dog’s image was posted online, the phone lines blew up big time. The wheelchair was donated a few months ago by Mission Viejo Animal Services.

“We received it as a donation and thought our friends in Riverside County may need it one day,” said Brynn Lavison, a supervisor at Mission Viejo Animal Services.

Now the dog has been heavily networked online by individuals and someone even started a Go Fund Me account. However, Animal Services is not associated with that account or any “pledge drives” seeking money for Scooter.

“We always want people to be aware that there are many people that try to do fund raisers for dogs in our care,” said Jackie Schart, an Animal Services chief. “Be careful where you are donating your money.”

For now, Animal Services is interested in speaking with individuals who have some level of experience with special- needs animals. Please do not call. E-mail Animal Services at and please put SCOOTER ADOPTER in the subject line. An appointment will be scheduled with prospective adopters.

It should be noted that the wheelchair Scooter is currently using may need to be replaced by a custom-fit model.

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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