COCOA, Fla. – No potential puppy owners this weekend took a chance on adopting Chance, an animated, hobbling hound who's recovering from a trio of broken legs.
Somebody threw Chance from a moving vehicle in April in Cocoa, crippling him. Months of surgeries and recuperation followed, and the 8-month-old American Staffordshire terrier successfully underwent his fifth operation Thursday to remove a bone fragment from his right rear leg.
Chance went up for adoption Friday. The Central Brevard Humane Society screened a barrage of phone calls down to eight serious inquiries, Executive Director Theresa Clifton said.
One potential adopter was a Groveland woman who drove to the Cocoa animal shelter with her 9-year-old dog to meet Chance. But the rambunctious puppy proved too boisterous for the older animal, Clifton said.
Compounding matters, Chance's owner will have to shoulder future medical bills, said Brett Trager, acting kennel manager.
"Our veterinarian said that for the rest of his life, he can't be too active. He'll have really bad arthritis most likely, because of all the breaks and fractures he suffered in his legs," Trager said.
"As he gets older, he'll be in pain. So he'll have to be on medication," he said.
Trager described Chance as "absolutely full of energy." Clifton said the dog is so lively that he should go to "a nice quiet home" to avoid injuring himself further.
"Even though he's healed, it's just like with people: When you get your cast off, you can't go right out and play football. But he doesn't know that," Clifton said.
Purrs and Whiskers Shelter, a Melbourne animal rescue group, has raised $5,925 through Sunday to cover Chance's medical bills. Jeff Godwin, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Clinic in Melbourne, performed four of his surgeries.
"We did the elbow first, and then the next day we did the hind leg and put a cast on his left front leg," Godwin said. "Honestly, it was questionable whether or not we should try to fix him. He had really serious injuries.
"All throughout the entire thing, he's been a real trooper, wagging his tail happy to be alive. A real success story."