Poppie the paralysed dog on her way to US after back op

2017-05-08 20:21
Poppie, the paralysed dog. (Deon Raath/Netwerk24)

Poppie, the paralysed dog. (Deon Raath/Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – A paralysed dog that stole the hearts of a group of researchers in Botswana just over two months ago is on her way to the US – hopefully after a back operation to repair her fractured vertebrae, Netwerk24 reported

"She was in a bad state, emaciated and obviously in danger, but her Bambi eyes instantly stole my heart," said Professor Amanda Stronza, an American anthropologist. 

Poppie, as the dog is now known, in February dragged her paralysed hindquarters through dense bush in northern Botswana to get to the group of people who she "instinctively knew could help her".

Stronza, who was working on an elephant research project when her path crossed with Poppie’s, says she doesn’t know how the courageous dog got injured.

"It could have been anything – an animal that stepped on or kicked her or, sadly, even a person."

The most important thing, she believes, is that Poppie got to the right people in time.

"One of our researchers, Susanne Vogel, immediately took Poppie under her wing and named her."

To get Poppie medical assistance, Stronza's colleague Graham McCulloch had to take her on an eight-hour long trip in his 4x4 vehicle to the nearest town, Maun.

Operation crowdfunded

When they got there, X-rays revealed two vertebrae with compression fractures.

"The main problem was money. To get Poppie on all fours again, she might need an operation costing thousands, which I don’t have," said Stronza. She turned to crowdfunding to get the money needed for the operation.

"In the blink of an eye we had collected more than enough (almost $8 000, or more than R107 000) and Poppie’s road to recovery could begin."

She says the pooch won’t ever return her "stolen heart", but also that she wouldn’t be reclaiming it in any case.

"I love Poppie so much and I’m grateful for the love she has elicited. She caused a worldwide community of love. Everyone agrees, she radiates love," said Stronza.

Poppie now commutes between a specialist veterinary centre in Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg, and Dr Suzette Greubel of the Greenside animal hospital where she will have to undergo tests to see if an operation would help her.

"The good news doesn’t end after the operation. We have already found a home for Poppie. Once the operation is over, this brave little dog will fly all the way to America where her new family is waiting," said Stronza.

MaryBeth Hastings and her husband, Howard Wilkins, are waiting for Poppie in Takoma Park, Washington DC, along with their daughters Molly, 10, and Sydney, 14.

They have decided to adopt Poppie regardless of the outcome of the operation.

Read more on:    botswana  |  johannesburg  |  good news  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Fascinating facts about dogs

Think you know a lot about dogs? How many of these facts do you know?



Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.