Salem man drives across country to adopt dog who lost two feet at puppy mill

Nubz with his new human in Salem
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SALEM, Ore. -- A dog born in a Missouri puppy mill has started his new life in Oregon, thanks to Jim Havlinek who drove all the way from Oregon to Pennsylvania to adopt the Husky/Chow mix.

The pup’s name is Nubz and his story is getting a lot of attention. A Facebook video documenting his journey has had almost 50,000 shares.

Havlinek, who lives in Salem, is Nubz’s new human. But before he adopted Nubz, he was perfectly happy with his little family which included his two dogs Winston and Bailey.

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But that was before he saw a video of Nubz, published by Chow Chow Rescue of Central New York.

“He was probably not even two months old when I started following him,” said Havlinek.

You wouldn't know Nubz was any different than any other dog, until you looked down at his two back paws.

“He basically has just a calloused-over stub that he fits in these,” Havlinek said as he eased Nubz’s back paw into a prosthetic.

Every day, it's a team effort to put on Nubz's prosthetics.

The 10-month-old pup has to wear them. He was born in a puppy mill in Missouri and he may be one of the only ones that survived out of his litter.

“Puppy mills typically have a lot of caged animals. They don't' have a lot of access to moving around,” said Laura Magruder, veterinarian at Evergreen Veterinary Hospital in Salem.

While at the puppy mill, his mom chewed off his back paws.

“We don't know if it was the extra stress of the puppy mill or maybe she just wasn't ready to be a mom, but she ended up taking it out on her puppies unfortunately,” Magruder said.

But it seems nothing can crush Nubz's spirit. It's that feisty spirit that made Havlinek drive all the way from Oregon to Pennsylvania to get Nubz from foster care this summer.

So far, Nubz has adjusted pretty well to his new pack, and his prosthetics are doing their job.

“If you give him the opportunity, he will be gone. He will just run, run, run, run,” said Havlinek.

Nubz is expected to receive a brand new pair of prosthetics this week. They don’t come cheap. Havlinek said they’re about $3000 a pair. Nubz also participates in hydrotherapy, which can quickly get expensive.

But when Havlinek sees Nubz running, playing, and having fun just like any other dog, it's all worth it.

As Nubz adjusts to life without two of his paws, Havlinek is already looking toward the future. He's hoping Nubz will become a therapy dog for veterans.

“Take him in for guys who've got amputations and stuff, and take him in to show you you're not alone,” Havlinek said.

Whether or not he becomes a therapy dog, it’s clear, life in Oregon suits him well. From here on out, he’s got a new pack, a new family and lots of support.

“I think he’s going to do great. He has indomitable spirit. There’s nothing that’s going to hold him back," said Magruder.

If you want to get updates on Nubz, you can follow “The Life of Nubz” Facebook page.