HIS story captured the hearts of hundreds of readers.

When three-legged dog Shadow was rescued from Spain it was unclear whether he’d ever be able to walk, run or play again.

Now the 16-month-old German shepherd has taken a big step to help him lead a normal life.

Shadow has been fitted with a new prosthetic leg after donations flooded in following an appeal by the Daily Echo.

As reported, Shadow lost his fore paw after getting caught in a trap in Spain.

He was taken to a rescue centre but if Sara May from Totton had not adopted him and brought him home to the UK the centre would have put him down.

With help from the Daily Echo Sara raised £6,000, including a donation of £2,000 from a retired Totton man, which has paid for a new leg to be made especially for him by pets prosthetics company Orthopets in Denver, US, based on a mould made by vet Jane Oatley at Seadown Vets in Hythe.

The money will also help towards the cost of physiotherapy and vet’s bills to get him back on all four legs.

Shadow will wear his new leg for ten minutes at a time three or four times a day and visit his vet every two weeks.

Daily Echo:

The leg will be adapted over time to give him the perfect fit and any areas that rub will change colour.

After about three months it will then be sent back to Orthopets who will make another, better fitting leg, which he will be fitted with for life.

Jane said: “Without a front leg on a dog, they really do struggle. It’s given him a life really.

“There are very few times when it’s the right thing to do, but he’s a healthy dog who has just had an accident.

“It should work just like a human one, so that instead of just taking the weight at the end of the stump it takes the weight down the sleeve.

“I just can’t believe how well he’s taken to it. I don’t know that there are many temp e r a m e n t dogs who would just take to it like that.

“Now it’s just reteaching him how to use a proper leg with a foot again.”

Daily Echo: Vet, Jane Oatley

S a r a said: “It’s absolutely amazing.

He’s just taken to it. I cannot wait to take him to Calmore Park for a run.

“I couldn’t have done it without the help from the Daily Echo and its readers.

“It has just been so fantastic that I’ve had hundreds of people who have sent in donations and the man who turned up at my house with £2,000 was lovely.”

Alison Hunt, operations director at Orthopets Europe said: “It’s quite unusual. There have been less than 20 cases of dogs being fitted with prosthetics in the past couple of years but it’s something that is growing in popularity in the UK.

“You have got this as a choice now but we need to get the word out to vets that when amputating you have to leave enough of the leg there to hang something on.”

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