Abandoned dog outfitted with four prosthetic paws

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

A Red Heeler named Naki'o whose paws were amputed last year has become the first dog to be fitted with four prosthetic paws.

The site Incredible Features says a family in Nebraska who were foreclosed upon abandoned Naki'o along with the rest of his litter. The puppies barely survived winter in the home's basement. Naki'o stepped into an icy puddle, and his paws froze.

By the time he was rescued and taken to an animal shelter, his paws were frostbitten and had to be removed, leaving him unable to walk.

Christie Tomlinson, a veterinarian technician, decided she wanted to adopt the charmingly energetic Naki'o, but soon realized his injuries were too severe for him to be truly happy.

"I was having to take him for walks in a stroller and carry him around," she told The Daily Mail. "He couldn't be a normal dog, he couldn't lead the life he wanted."

So she began to fundraise for a pair of prosthetic paws from Orthopets, a Denver-based company that brings to animals the same orthotic devices used by humans. Tomlinson raised $1300, and Orthopets made up the difference to outfit Naki'o with all four prosthetic paws free last January. The whole procedure cost $4500, Orthopets President Amy Kaufmann says.

Orthopets' Facebook page shows photos of other injured pets that have received prosthetic limbs and wheelchair-like devices to help them walk again. "We get to work with patients with drive and determination," company founder Martin Kaufmann told ABC News. "They have a real willingness to thrive."

Watch Naki'o play with his post-bionic paws, below:

(Naki'o: Incredible Features)