Dog left abandoned and paralyzed in park learning to walk again

EAST PATCHOGUE, N.Y. -- A puppy discovered in a park was crippled and couldn't even walk.

But now, after receiving a lot of physical therapy and love, she's back on her four feet.

At just five months old, Jesse, believed to a Brazilian mastiff, was discovered paralyzed and abandoned on a blanket in Roberto Clemente Park.

"I just think that the people weren't prepared or just gave up," said Craig Fields of New York Bully Crew, a non-profit rescue group that specializes in pit bulls, and took Jesse in.

She couldn't walk, feed herself, or go to the bathroom on her own.

"It was just really sad," said Fields. "She was just only crawling, she was only able to crawl and use her front paws to move her back legs. Her back legs were pretty much immobile."

Neurological tests were done, but doctors still couldn't figure out what was wrong. So day in and day out, Fields worked with Jesse.

"We started out with basic training on the ball, an exercise ball just like humans use," said Fields. "She can crawl up and then the pool is the big thing, she goes in the pool, hydrotherapy."

One of the first ways Jesse learned how to walk is that they held her by her harness and kind of guided her along the way, and then she started doing it on her own.

Ok, Jesse got a little tired after two takes with me, but it's a far contrast from where she was. In just six weeks, she went from only being able to crawl to standing up to eat.

She can walk for several feet, but her muscles are still being trained, so soon she'll get some new hardware for her legs.

"The braces will assist her in walking better," said Fields.

Jesse still has several weeks of rehabilitation before she'll be running around and ready for adoption. But Fields is happy he didn't give up on her.

"If you had a child, would you give up on your child? So pets are my family," he said.

In this extended interview, hear more from Craig Fields about his work in rescuing and rehabilitating Jesse:

For more information about New York Bully Crew, visit:

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