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Meet Willie Wonka!. She is a 7-month old American Staffordshire Terrier mix and is being fostered by myself and Puka.

Willie Wonka has quite the story… Willie came to the Barstow shelter as a stray. She waited 10 days in the shelter, no one came to claim her. Why, you ask? She was born with a severe form of Carpal Laxity Syndrome in her front legs. Willie’s legs look like one of those silly straws you drink out of… you know, the ones will all the twists and turns. Most people aren’t willing to even attempt to work with a dog like Willie, but luckily, we found her and pulled her from the shelter so we could get her on the road to recovery. Since her freedom ride from the shelter, Willie has been getting much needed attention and undergoing physical therapy to learn how to walk on her own. Her resilience and focus is admirable, her demeanor is so chill and relaxed, and just after a couple months I have seen incredible progress in Willie’s ability to walk. This is Willie’s first time entering the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.

Willie Wonka in the community:

Willie Wonka has only been in this world for 7 months but already she has made appearances on television, hung out with big time celebrities, and built a loyal following on Instagram.

She was born with deformed front paws that inhibit her mobility but her big heart and gentle demeanor has made every moment rewarding. Willie has a great community of volunteers that make time to work with her physical therapy exercises, she has a great group of specialists helping to get her walking, and she also has a few great orthopedic specialists contributing special braces and other aids to help correct her leg position to get her mobile.

She is an inspiration to anyone that is down on their luck and she would be a great ambassador for other animals born with disabilities. The community saw her, came together with a plan got her out of the shelter so she wouldn’t end up another abandoned statistic. People believe in her and that she has all the potential in the world to walk on her own if given the opportunity. And I’d say Willie is beating all the odds.

We receive messages daily from people all over the world telling us how much Willie has encouraged them to be courageous, help a friend in need, or volunteer to help organization they believe in. These small acts of compassion make a big difference not only for animals like Willie, but for our communities as a whole. From small acts of kindness in the neighborhood to big steps toward making global change, there is a good chance Willie is the reason these actions were taken.

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