A paralyzed foster dog has found his forever home thanks to the “Puppy Bowl.”
Kathy and Jason DiPrinzio of Norristown, Pa., were watching the Animal Planet special on Feb. 5 when they instantly fell in love with Francis, a 1-year-old German shepherd-Rottweiler-chow chow mix with paralyzed hind legs. The dog, who uses a wheelchair to get around, was first profiled in a video published on The Post about his foster sister, Wilma, who competed in this year’s game.
“We don’t watch football. I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday because of ‘Puppy Bowl,’ ” Kathy, 43, tells The Post. “We were just sitting there watching it and Wilma had come on, and my husband said how cute she is, and then once they showed Francis, he kind of just looked at me and was like, ‘What do you think?’ ”
The couple had been considering getting another dog since their 14-year-old dachshund, Frank, passed away in January 2016, leaving their house quieter. (They also have a 13-year-old dachshund, plus three cats, two of whom were special-needs. All of their pets have been rescues.) When they found out Francis lived nearby with New Life Animal Rescue in Marlton, NJ, the DiPrinzios immediately applied to adopt him. After some reference calls and a house visit, Francis moved in Sunday afternoon, less than a week after they’d first seen him on TV.
“We wanted a dog that not everybody wanted to adopt,” says Kathy. “That’s why we didn’t want a puppy. We wanted somebody that really needed a home.”
Francis had been separated from his mother and littermates at 4 weeks old because his legs were paralyzed, and he was scheduled to be euthanized the day New Life rescued him from a shelter in September 2015. His paralysis means he does require more work than the average dog to get his 50-pound frame in and out of his cart and outside to use the bathroom, but Kathy says Francis has settled in quickly and is already getting along with his new doggy sibling, Belle.
“He is such a happy dog. He doesn’t care that he can’t use his back legs,” she says. “I don’t think he even realizes there’s anything different about him.”
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