FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (WCCO) — A local man is hoping to give a shelter dog a new home and a better quality of life.

One-year-old Bear, a German Shepard Mix was brought to the Humane Society of Otter Tail County because his owner could no longer afford to take care of him.

Bear has a deformed left foot, making it hard for him to act like a normal dog.

“Within a minute, I was in love. I knew from that second I had to help him somehow,” said Jerry Mortenson.

Mortenson volunteers at the Humane Society of Otter Tail County’s Fergus Falls Animal Shelter.

“He doesn’t have anybody. He was an owner surrender to the Humane Society and they certainly don’t have the funds to take care of the dog,” said Mortenson.

Doctors they think Bear might have broken his left leg when he was younger and it didn’t heal right. Now, Mortenson is making it his mission, to help Bear get the surgery he needs to be able run, and walk like other dogs.

“I’ve seen him run and he’s just lopsided. It definitely slows him down and he favors it quite a bit,” said Mortenson.

So, Bear was brought to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center.

Dr. Betty Kramek has seen this before and she thinks she can fix Bear’s deformed paw.

“I’m sure he’s in a little pain because it really stresses his collateral ligaments. When he tries to bare weight on it, he’s really walking off balance and his collateral ligaments are severely stretched,” Kramek said.

She would perform a surgery and fuse the bone so it would be permanently in a normal walking position.

“The only think you would notice is that he wouldn’t be able to bend his wrist,” said Kramek.

Bear would be able to do almost everything a normal dog can do — including run.

The surgery will cost around $3,700. Mortenson has raised about half of the money and the University says it will also do some fundraising.

If you would like to donate call the College of Veterinary Medicine at 612-626-6501

Sonya Goins, Producer
Contact Sonya


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