Rescued dog soon will run on all fours again

It's said that cats have nine lives, but dont tell Jaxon. The three-legged canine, who was rescued from the Jackson County Animal Care & Control Center in July, will soon be running on all fours again after being fitted with a prosthetic limb.

Bounding after a tennis ball in the parking lot of the Ashland Recycling Center, the 1-year-old black labrador-great Dane mix has a new lease on life thanks to Jaxon's best friend, Tim Church, an employee at the center.

The center regularly fosters shelter dogs in a kennel next to bins of cardboard, cans and glass. Since 1992, the center has found homes for more than 200 animals.

After a month of waiting for a new home at the Animal Care & Control Center and more five weeks at the Recycling Center, Church decided to adopt Jaxon and help him with his disability.

"He's a great dog," Church said. "He is so willing to learn and to please."

Two weeks ago, Church contacted Orthopets, a Denver-based firm specializing in custom pet orthotics and prothesis, to look into purchasing a prosthetic leg for Jaxon. After receiving a special kit from the company, a plaster cast of Jaxon's hind leg was made and sent away for the custom made prosthetic. The cost of prosthetic devices for pets can range between $600 and $1,800.

At the Recycling Center, Jaxon will be healthier and less stressed and he will have a chance to socialize more, Church said.

"He can run pretty well, but walking is a chore. He isn't using his back leg much," Church said. "Shelter dogs are the best because they seem appreciative and sense they've been rescued."

Throughout the day, Jaxon can be seen resting in the shade, playing with a tennis ball, mooching treats from visitors and just hanging out with Church's other shelter dog, Huggy Bear.

"This is new to me. I don't think we've ever had a dog like this," Church said.

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