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German shepherd with no hind legs getting prosthetics, needs a home

1 year old Ryder is the product of backyard breeding, says his foster mother. Now, they are looking for him to have a forever home.
1 year old Ryder is the product of backyard breeding, says his foster mother. Now, they are looking for him to have a forever home.

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. – A German shepherd without back legs is getting a new start to his life with rehabilitation and prosthetics and possibly a new home.

His foster mom, Karla Huffman, says she believes his disability is because of backyard breeding.

“A good friend of mine reached out and said there’s a dog that needed to be re-homed and he has no back legs,” said Huffman.

Ryder is a 1-year-old German shepherd and the only one of three in a litter to survive.

“This is what happens with backyard breeding. They inbreed, they overbreed,” said Huffman. “We decided to take him in because we didn’t know where he would end up.”

It was not until recently that Ryder started getting treatment funded by Picolinis Animal Rescue.

Dr. Marta Sanchez-Emden says it’s hard to tell what exactly happened to Ryders hind legs, but she believes it happened after birth.

“He has gotten use to walking in an abnormal way because he has no paws. Kind of like a hunch like a kangaroo,” she said.

The young pup has been coming twice a week to the Animal Health and Rehab Center in South Miami to walk in a water-filled tank.

“He has limited hip extension , limited knee extension , very weak hind muscles because he’s not using them,” said Sanchez-Emden.

He has been fitted and is waiting for prosthetics to arrive. The vet will then assess how they will go about integrating prosthetics into his life.

“It’s challenging because animals are not use to having shoes. They are not use to having things on their body.”

Because of the therapy, Ryder’s home will need to be local.


About the Authors:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.