Dog Rescue – Panda’s Story

Dog Rescue Stories



What does it mean to rescue a dog?

Can it make a difference in a dogs life when it’s rescued?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Panda and her mom Steph at the Finals for Toronto’s Top Dog contest. How could I not be drawn to this sweet faced dog in her red personalized wagon!

Now I’ve seen dogs in strollers and wagons before so it didn’t seem that unusual to me, but it was when Panda hopped out of her wagon that I understood her need for the assistance of this red wagon. Panda has 3 legs not 4, but this did not stop Panda from socializing and interacting with all the other dogs that day. I spoke briefly with Steph asking about Panda’s story, and I couldn’t help falling more in love with Panda and being inspired by Steph for taking Panda into her life.

Dog Rescue - Panda's Story

It was a happy, tongue wagging day when Edie met Panda – Toronto’s Top Small Dog and Toronto’s Top Medium Dog Winners!


I followed up with Steph asking if she would share Panda’s rescue story and what it has meant to her.

This is Panda’s Rescue Story:

Dog Rescue Stories - Panda

Panda riding in style in her red personalized wagon

Growing up as a crazy dog lady (yes, my love affair started young), friends were shocked when I moved out of my parent’s house to live on my own in Toronto, without a dog. The freedom was great – I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, wherever I wanted. That all changed when T.E.A.M. Dog Rescue posted a picture of their newest addition, a puggle mix, with a terribly damaged leg that required an emergency amputation. I couldn’t stop thinking about her sweet face, and the pain she was about to endure. A good friend of mine told me to send in an application to adopt her – and that if it was meant to be it would be. As it turns out, it was meant to be, and Panda moved in two weeks later.

Panda was brought into the Quinte Humane Society after being rescued from a hunting trap in the forest. Based on the state of her body, it is assumed that she was dumped in the forest by a puppy mill where she likely spent the first four years of her life living in a cage and having puppies. Panda was still recovering from her amputation when she moved in. She was very quiet, and was still learning to how walk on three legs. She was unsure of toys, but she wasted no time in picking out her spot on the couch. Fast forward three months, and we reached a milestone – Panda played with her first toy! Fast forward 6 months, and she was fully potty trained!

Panda and I have now been partners in crime for just over a year and a half. In this short time, she has learned how to walk on three legs, she has gone for her first swim, she has celebrated her first Christmas, experienced her first snowfall, and she has been in two calendars – including one featuring country music artist Chris Lane!

If Panda could tell readers anything, it would be that 3 legs are better than 4. She would ask you to consider adoption and #thinkrescue before purchasing a dog. She would also want you to know that a dog labelled “special needs” might only really need a safe place to live and a human to love.

Panda is proof that it’s never too late for a fresh start. She may have lost a leg, but she gained a loving family and a good home. The future is bright for Panda, and we hope that in sharing her story, the future can be bright for as many other dogs as possible. We can’t wait until we have the opportunity to give another dog a furever home.

Thank you to Steph for sharing Panda’s story with us.

And a big congratulations to Panda for winning: Toronto’s Top Medium Dog!

If you would like to see more of Panda, you can follow her on Intsagram at “Pandabear


Do you have a dog or cat rescue story to you’d like to share? Let me know!

Author: Kelly Harding

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