Dog on wheels needs stem cell therapy, family to love

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WALKER, Mich. --A terrier mix who has found new life through his wheelchair needs a stem cell procedure and a family to love.

Life hasn't been easy for 2-year-old Bolt. While the cold, winter months are hard on all stray animals as they search for food and shelter, it was even worse for Bolt who was hit by a car that left him unable to use his back legs.

Jan Denny, hospital administrator at Kelley's Animal Clinic in Walker, now cares for him.

"The minute I saw him he melted my heart," Denny said. "He has no use from his waist down."

An X-Ray showed where Bolt's spine is injured.

Denny picked up the roughly 20 pound dog and placed him into a wheelchair. Just like that, he's on the go.

"When he gets in his cart he goes non-stop," Denny said. "He plows through the snow, he goes through the doorways. He's still learning how to back up a little bit but he's got it down and he absolutely loves it."

While at the clinic, Bolt can be seen running up to the staff showing them his appreciation for all they do.

"He loves everybody. He talks like crazy, if you don’t give him attention he will demand attention," Denny said.  "The minute he sees his cart he gets excited...his whole body starts to dance."

While his wheels have given him a new chance at life, Veterinarian James Kelley said he doesn't want to stop there. He wants to take stem cells from Bolt's fat tissue and inject it back into the dog's body.

"We actually process these stem cells and we're going to inject these into this area, [the spine] right here," Kelley said. "We're hoping it turns into a spinal cord or relieves the inflammation."

As a result, Kelley said the procedure could bring some of Bolt's mobility back.

However, the surgery costs about $900. The clinic operates off donations and Kelley hopes to get enough to perform the procedure on Bolt.

In the meantime, the spunky, treat-chasing boy who craves affection and likes to be the center of attention, needs a family of his own.

With so much love to give and joy to spread, Denny said Bolt could even make a great therapy dog.

"I think that he could really help a lot of children that are in wheelchairs," Denny said. "I think they could relate to that and see that he also has a disability."

To adopt Bolt or donate to his surgery, just call the clinic at 616-453-7422.

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