Dog in wheelchair raises abuse awareness

WPVI logo
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Oakley uses a wheelchair to get around
Oakley uses a wheelchair to get around

RALEIGH (WPVI) -- When "Oakley" was just 10 weeks old, his then-owner brought the puppy to an animal shelter partially paralyzed.

"They actually told the shelter he was born this way," said Kristie Karcanes. "They took him to the vet immediately wanting to do testing on him - and when they did the x-ray - that's when they found the bullet.

The bullet was lodged in his spine.

"He had fleas, worms. He had urine burns all over the back of his body," said Karcanes.

But Karcanes rescued Oakley.

"I just fell in love with him," she said. "I don't know what I would do without him."

At first he just hopped around on his behind, which he still likes to do. But now he can walk with his own wheelchair.

And Oakley has become something of a spokesdog for the prevention of animal cruelty. Karcanes started a Facebook page called Bulletproof Oakley to raise awareness about the huge problem. She says Oakley's story is just one of thousands.

"Thrown out of cars, starved until they can't barely make it. It's just horrible," she said. "If you hear it, if you see it, even hear about it, you have to report it, because if we don't report it and you just look away, it's not going to change."

Oakley recently had part of a leg amputated and his physical health in the future is unknown. But for now, he does what most dogs do and is not letting what happened to him in the past slow him down.

"I think he's here to make a difference," said Karcanes.