ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- An Englewood nonprofit organization felt helpless reading the news that one of their rescued and rehabilitated dogs had been critically injured in a possible DWI accident in New Mexico. Now they're doing something about it.
Freedom Service Dogs of America confirmed this week that their group will be re-adopting Tango, who suffered a collapsed lung, fractured pelvis and two broken hind legs after being thrown from a vehicle being driven by his owner, Leonard Day, in Albuquerque.
Day, who wasn't seriously hurt, has been charged with extreme animal cruelty and, pending the results of a blood test, could face a DWI charge -- Arizona's equivalent of a DUI.
Since the accident, Tango has undergone two surgeries and recently started physical therapy with his original trainer on FSD's Englewood campus.
Before Tango left Albuquerque, veterinarians told KRQE-TV that he was walking with a special harness to support his rear end. The Arizona vets were hopeful Tango would be walking again without assistance by the end of April.
"He might not be able to return as a service dog if his physical limitations prevent that, but I’m sure Tango will be a fantastic addition to any family he goes to,” Dana Espinoza, technical supervisor at the VCA Animal Hospital, told KRQE.
Originally rescued from a shelter and trained by FSD in 2009, Tango was given to Day about three years ago. The organization could not comment on the reason Day was in need of a service dog due to privacy agreements.
FSD said it expects to pay "upwards of $20,000" for Tango's rehab and recovery. If you would like to assist in covering those costs, click here to donate. FSD said 100% of specified donations will go toward funding Tango's recovery.