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      Dog in wheelchair gets new "leash" on life

      2 year old Zena gets around in a wheelchair.

      Of the nearly 500 dogs and cats at Coastal Animal Rescue in Murrells Inlet, it's hard to miss Zena. The two-year-old German Shepherd gets around on all fours. But her fours are two paws and two wheels.

      Linda Donahue, Adoption Coordinator with the rescue says that Zena ended up at their shelter on December 7th after they received a phone call from a man who said she was in a ditch off Wachesaw Road and appeared to have been hit by a car.

      "Thank goodness for the gentleman who called us that saw her in the ditch, or she would have died there," she said.

      The shelter, which prides itself on having never euthanized an animal except to eliminate suffering and imminent death, was hesitant to put down Zena.

      "She was just such a sweet girl," Donahue says. "We knew she would recover."

      In the past 5 months, Zena has been nursed back to health. She has also received a custom wheelchair, making her mobile again. The dog has lost complete use of her hind legs and bowels. Staff says though with diapers and the chair, Zena gets around.

      "She's just a special needs dog. It's no different than a special needs person," Donahue says.

      The dog isn't in the chair all of the time. Mostly outside and when playing fetch.

      "Ever since she got wheelchair, she has her freedom back. And she's just as happy as can be. And to find her a loving home, would be the ultimate," Donahue says.

      Coastal Animal Rescue will take Zena to adoption events in April and May. If you're interested and would like to see her before that you can call 843.652.0196.