Edward the pug was born with three legs and a stump, but now walks on all fours after being fitted with a prosthetic limb. The one-year-old rescue dog is one of the first animals in Australia to be given an artificial leg and can finally run and play with his friends at the Pug Rescue and Adoption centre in Victoria. As a result, Ed has been chosen as the face of a new Victoria State Government welfare fund that will protect vulnerable pets such as himself. When he first arrived at Pug Rescue and Adoption Victoria, his saviours were told that Ed had his leg bitten off by his mother as a small puppy, but it is more likely that he was born with the little stump.
After a rather ‘unsteady’ road to the rescue centre, which included behind sold to as a breeding stud (despite missing a leg, a testicle and having a genetic skin condition) and then advertised as a ‘cheap way to own a pug’, Edward was finally able to get the care he needed .
After a trip to Dogs in Motion canine rehabilitation centre in Doveton, Victoria, the rescue centre’s team began to work on getting Ed back on his feet – all of them this time.
His peg-leg and harness is designed by Martin Kaufmann, a specialist animal prosthetics expert who said he had many sleepless nights figuring out the prefect design for Ed.
After a long process which included casts being taken of Edward’s legs and special visits by Mr Kaufmann, who normally works in America, Ed’s unique leg arrived in June.
In the beginning, the prosthetic had to be fitted with an elastic band so Edward could learn to bring his leg forward as he walked – something which he had never learned to do as a puppy.
Fortunately it has been a success and with the harness keeping the leg in place, Edward can now run and play without the help of the elastic band, and the centre hopes he will be adopted by a loving home.
The new $1.6 million fund Edward is promoting will assist not-for-profit animal care centres helping animals in similar situations.
The initiative was launched by Edward and Victoria State Treasurer Kim Wells at Pug Rescue and Adoption Victoria and will be funded largely from penalties, fines and seizures from illegal puppy farms with the Government guaranteeing $400,000 a year for the next four years.