Valley boy with amputated leg shares sweet connection with new p - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Valley boy with amputated leg shares sweet connection with new puppy

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A valley boy and his new pet dog share a special bond. (FOX5) A valley boy and his new pet dog share a special bond. (FOX5)

Two-year-old Atlas Saunders and his new Great Weimar puppy were destined to be friends.     

“They’re pretty inseparable,” Atlas’ dad Jon Paul Saunders said.

Shortly after birth, doctor’s amputated Atlas’ right leg.

“We went in because he was dehydrated and there were complications,” Saunders said. “The complication being a blood clot in his leg due to a misplaced central line.” “Everything is going to be a bit more challenging for him that’s the hard thing for parents to understand but you pick yourself up and do the best you can,” Jon Paul Saunders said.

Atlas’ puppy Purdy, was born without most of her right front leg.

“They do everything together,” Atlas’ mom Janelle Saunders said. “[Atlas] wants her there when he wakes up and when he goes to sleep.”

The Saunders family found Purdy through the Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit organization that creates a support system for families with limb differences. The project initially was created for individuals with symbrachydactyly and expanded to reach people with limb differences in general.

“We’re inclusive,” founder Molly Stapelman said. “Whether it’s upper, lower, congenital, or amputee it’s all one big happy family pretty much.”

Stapelman’s non-profit has expanded into a global community. On Facebook, the team has more than 34,000 members.

Stapelman said the non-profit is so well known, people reach out to her when they learn of a dog born without a limb. So far she's helped place five limb-different dogs.

“That’s what happened with Purdy,” Stapelman said. Someone familiar with Stapelman’s work, reached out to let her know about Purdy.

“The breeder in Utah she got her puppy from, had a puppy that was born without a front right paw and she asked if I wanted to help place her,” Stapelman said.

Stapelman put a call to action out on social media and ended up getting about 80 applications from different families. She said Atlas was the best fit.

“The family was great,” Stapelman said.

“And Atlas just loves Purdy,” Janelle Saunders said.

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