Disabled dog gets wheelchair gift from animal shelter after family is evicted

- We all like to brag on our pets, but Charlesetta Charles says her boy Bookie is a rock star.

"He is very energetic,” Charles says. “He's a happy dog. He's very friendly. He's loving."

The 3-year old beagle-lab mix is also in a wheelchair.

“About a year and a half ago, he got hit by a car.” Charles says. “He ran out in the street."

The accident left Bookie's back legs paralyzed, so he had to scoot around using his front legs. And his family began to struggle, too. December 15, they returned home to find themselves evicted.

"We when got there, we saw our things outside,” Charles says. “I looked on the door and they had a number for us to contact them to let us know where Bookie was."

Bookie had been taken by an animal control officer to DeKalb Animal Services, a county shelter run by Lifeline Animal Project. The shelter called the family. PR director Karen Hirsch says Charles made it clear they loved Bookie, and wanted him back.  They just needed a little time.

"We kept him in the front office because he's a super friendly dog,” Hirsch says. “And our volunteers and staff fell in love with him."

But they noticed Bookie was having a hard time.

“He was just dragging his back legs around,” Hirsch says. “He still got around good, but he had sores on his back legs."

So the staff and volunteers decided to buy Bookie a wheelchair.  They’re not cheap.

"And especially (for) this family, (they) had been evicted,” says Hirsch.  “They're still without a home and without a car."

So, the Lifeline crew and volunteers donated the money for Bookie's chair.  Hirsch says they found it on eBay.  If they were willing to assemble it themselves, they could get it for half price, about $200.

On Christmas Eve, the Charles family reclaimed Bookie.  Three weeks later, they came back to the shelter, for a wheelchair fitting.

And we went in and this was the wheelchair,” says Charles.  “And they gave him a big bucket full of dog treats and food.  It was just a wonderful thing. A blessing.  I was so happy.  Because my baby didn't have to slide around anymore."

Because Bookie is now a free man.

“He wants to run! He has me running!” says Charles.

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