Paralyzed Puppy Drags Herself To Remote Elephant Sanctuary To Get Help

Poppy, a 7 month old puppy, was born in a remote region of Botswana on the edge of an elephant preserve filled with the giant pachyderms but also lions, hyenas and other top tier predators.

When Poppy was very young, she sustained a terible ɪnjury that ᴄrushed her spine and left her back legs unusable. It’s likely she was trampled by an animal, or perhaps kicked by someone cruel. She dealt with her ɪnjury for weeks, maybe even months, before she dragged herself to a remote research camp, desperately seeking help.

Susanne Vogel works at an elephant research camp in the northern Okavango region of Botswana, and was shocked when she and her coworkers spotted Poppy, slowly making her way into their camp.

“She came crawling – literally crawling, because her back legs were completely immobilized – into our research camp,” Vogel told The Dodo. “She was unable to walk, but full of love and seeking help.”

“Her eyes pulled us in immediately,” Vogel said. “They are huge, imploring, and sparkling with life. She bursts with the sweetest spirit, and we could see that clearly, despite the desperate condition she was in.”

The team took Poppy under their wing, amazed that she had traveled so far to reach them and had survived the journey.

“The camp is in a remote region, filled with elephants, but also lions, hyenas, and other predators,” Vogel said. “Poppy had somehow made it to us, emaciated and soaking wet from the rain.”

The researchers monitored Poppy for a few days, and as soon as he could, Graham McCulloch made the eight-hour drive with her to a veterinarian. She stayed in veterinary care until she was stronger with the initial thought that surgery was too risky on a weak dog.

An update on the GoFundMe page, which raised over $10,000 for her treatment, said Poppy was happy at the Greenside Animal Hospital, a wonderful facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.

After a few days of good food, lots of water and anti-inflammatory medicine, Poppy’s condition improved greatly, and the vet decided it would be best to let her continue regaining her strength for a while before attempting the risky surgery.

Poppy shocks her rescuers every day with her progress, including being able to put the tiniest bit of weight on her back legs. They knew from the moment they met her she was special, but they never imagined just how far she’d come.

A forever home was found for her in Washington DC and staff were working with a travel company to get her there.

“Given what I understand now about the severity of her injury, I am only more in awe of Poppy’s incredible tenacity and spirit. What a brave little pup,” Stronza, an anthropologist and one of the directors of the camp, wrote.

“We didn’t find her in that remote part of Botswana–she found us, and I truly believe she knew what she was doing.”


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