Her story is one of resilience, hope, and new beginnings.

By Hilary Braaksma
December 30, 2020
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Credit: Southwest Oasis Labrador Rescue

Athena is a golden Labrador retriever who began her life in Mexico and ended up as something of a Tucson celebrity. The adorable pup came to the United States after losing her leg, and ended up gaining a new prosthetic limb and her forever home this time last year. As we enter the new year, we’re taking a look back on the pup’s harrowing journey and courageous fresh start.

Athena lived on a farm in central Mexico before tragically being caught in a bear trap, which led to the amputation of one of her front legs. Realizing farm life would be unsafe for the injured pup, Athena’s former owner found a group of volunteers who help Mexican dogs in need make it safely to the United States. 

Credit: Southwest Oasis Labrador Rescue

Shortly after her arrival at Southern Oasis Labrador Rescue in Tucson, Arizona, SOLR reached out to Hanger Clinic, a prosthetics company, to inquire about having a leg made for the foster dog. Though Hanger Clinic had never made a prosthetic piece for dogs, they were so touched by Athena’s story they offered to take on the project free of charge and helped fit Athena with a new front leg.

As word of Athena’s story grew, so did media interest. And with the media interest came adoption applications, and eventually a new home with David and Margaret Powell. In 2019, the Powells told local reporters their goal is to train Athena as a visiting therapy dog for veterans recovering from limb loss. David himself is a Vietnam veteran who benefited from visits by similar therapy dogs at the VA.

We’re so happy for the Powells and Athena, who sound like the perfect match. To find a shelter near you where you can adopt your own furry friend, check out the Daily Paws adoption guide.