West Highland terrier Pumpkin was stomped on as a puppy and left paralyzed before being abandoned. The pooch now works as a therapy dog going into schools and care homes
Little Pumpkin had a tough start in life. The tiny West Highland terrier was stam on as a baby and left paralysed before being abandoned. But after being adopted by a loving new owner the pup began to thrive – she got a pink set of wheels and began working as a therapy dog going into schools to help autistic and disabled children as well as care homes.
Her transformation was so complete that she became the inspiration for her owner to set up a new charity for disabled dogs. Tammie Fox, 42, from Lincolnshire, launched Pumpkin & Friends to help other dogs like her brave Westie. The charity aims to raise awareness for disabled animals but also provide financial help where needed. Disabled dogs are offered a new wheelchair or stroller, and can have help towards any vet fees and operations needed. The charity also offers help with any rehabilitation needed including hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and acupuncture.The Mirror’s Pet Club
When anyone approaches the charity they join the Wheely Good Friends scheme. So far, 61 dogs and one goat have been helped since the charity launched in June.
Tammie said: “Having a disability isn’t a death sentence. It’s the beginning of a new adventure. Whatever the dog needs for a good quality of life and be out of pain, we want to help with that.
“Before I got Pumpkin I didn’t realise dogs and wheelchairs existed. I found it very isolating because I didn’t realise there was help out there. Now I want to show the world that these animals are amazing and deserve to live. I want to fight for them.”
She adds: “It makes me really proud that we are changing things and people’s opinions. We are saving animals’ lives and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Pumpkin, now one, was surrendered to local rescue center, Breeds In Need, in 2021, who asked animal lover Tammie to temporarily foster her. Her disability didn’t matter to Tammie, who instantly “fell in love with her”.
“It broke my heart seeing Pumpkin unable to walk,” Tammie says. “I just had to keep her.”
Tammie, who is a nail technician, set up a GoFundMe page and asked friends, family and clients for their help. In just five days, she managed to raise over £10,000 for an appointment at one of the best vet specialists in the world.
He sadly confirmed Pumpkin would never be able to walk independently, so Tammy used the money raised to get Pumpkin a set of special dog wheels from Walkin’ Pets, and donated the remaining amount to Breeds In Need.
Pumpkin’s story went viral and now thousands follow her adventures on social media, including 20,000 on Facebook alone.