Atlanta can be a huge and scary place when you're all alone and only weigh 2 pounds.
A chihuahua/miniature pinscher puppy was found this month, alone and in obvious pain, outside of an auto parts store.
His owners could not be located and there were no "Lost Dog" notices online or in the paper matching his description.
It was as if the tiny, terrified dog appeared out of nowhere. It soon became obvious he had nowhere to go and, with two broken legs, he wasn't going very far anyway.
Enter LifeLine Animal Project.
The Avondale Estates rescue and animal welfare organization took in the tiny two-pound pup (now named "Peanut" by rescuers because of his small size) and promptly set about finding a way to get him back on all four feet.
They took him to Georgia Veterinary Specialists where Dr. Alan Cross examined him and found not only new injuries - bilateral radius and ulna fractures of his front legs - but older injuries as well, two humeral condyle fractures.
It's unknown how the pup got so broken. Small dogs can be jumpers and are sometimes prone to leg fractures from leaping off furniture or out of someone's arms. He could have been hit by a car. He could have been abused or treated roughly.
What was known is that Peanut could be knitted back together, but it would take expensive and complicated surgery and at least a month of rehabilitation.
Due to the constant high expense of running a no-kill shelter for rescued pets, LifeLine was faced with a quandary on how get Peanut all the medical and surgical care he needed to get better.
Georgia Veterinary Specialists discounted Peanut's care costs for LifeLine. With surgery and aftercare the total came to $2,700- $3,000.
LifeLine immediately started a social media fundraising campaign to help the puppy and within 24 hours had raised $1,700 of the funds needed from animal lovers in Georgia and all over the United States who were both concerned and charmed by photos of the young dog in need of aid.
"Donations have come in from California, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Florida, Kansas, Colorado and Delaware. It's amazing!" said Cynthia McGuinness, LifeLine's development director.
"He's the nicest little pup," added Debbie Setzer, who serves as the community outreach director for LifeLine, "He's just a baby and very friendly. He just needs some help to get whole again."
Peanut had his surgery last Thursday and while it was an extensive procedure where metal plates were put in the dog's front legs in order to mend them, Dr. Cross said Peanut should make a full recovery and can soon have a normal puppyhood.
Once he's completely well again, Peanut will be offered for adoption through LifeLine, but in the meantime, there's the cost of his care to be considered.
LifeLine is taking donations for Peanut through their website at www.LifeLineAnimal.org. Anyone who wants to help the little dog can go to the site, click the link that reads "Give Life Support" and donate, making sure to write in the notes section that the money is to help Peanut get well and walking again.
Donations can also be sent by mail to: LifeLine Animal Project, PO Box 15466, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333.
"We thank you and Peanut thanks you," said Setzer, "This little guy deserves both new legs and a new life. Thanks to everyone who is helping to make that happen."