KUSA - A viral video put out by a New York nonprofit is helping raise awareness about dogs with disabilities.
In the video, a tiny puppy named Mick learns how to move his legs by swimming in a bath tub. His rehab was made possible thanks to a woman who has made it her mission to give animals who would be otherwise be euthanized, a chance to grow and adapt.
The Mia Foundation was started by Sue Rogers who had a Chihuahua named Mia with a cleft palate. Mia passed away but Rogers now helps other animals with birth defects and genetic disorders.
"I was contacted by Mick's breeder when he was two weeks old ... he had just told me a few of Mick's symptoms. I really wasn't sure what was wrong with the puppy, I advised him to take him to the vet, but it sounded like his puppy had swimmer puppy syndrome," Rogers said. "Four weeks later, he sent me another email, asking if I could take the puppy. So, we did.
It was obvious that Mick needed help right away.
"I was really scared, I had never seen anything like that in my life. He was just so flat, just laid out on all fours. He couldn't sit, he couldn't stand, he couldn't walk. He just laid there," she said.
After consulting with a veterinarian, Rogers worked with little Mick six hours a day for ten days.
"The first time he went in the bathtub, he was so not sure, he just kept looking at me with those eyes and I felt bad at first but I also knew he needed this. He was six weeks old and had never used his leg muscles.," she said. "I didn't push him, I didn't scare him, we started by just putting his little feet in, then the next session I would go a little bit deeper to his knees, and then the third session I would go up to his hips, then finally the doggy paddle started, he just took off in the bathtub. He was like a little frog, it was so cute."
Puppies like Mick are just one of the many animals she has helped. Roger has successfully adopted out 22 animals since the foundation began in April 2012.
"If you saw Mick today, you would never know three weeks ago that this dog couldn't walk," Rogers said.
The MIA Foundation has other puppies looking for forever homes.
To learn more about the organization, visit http://www.themiafoundation.com/.