May 25, 1PM – Portland Maine.

The dachshund in Tennessee was abused by a gang of teenagers and left paralyzed. A 4th grade class in Oklahoma, doing a class project with their teacher, Kathy Barton and, rescued the dog by raising money for a dog wheelchair and air transportation to her new home in Fryeburg, Maine. The dog, formerly named “Boo” but renamed “Johanna” by her new caretaker arrived in Portland today. She was met by Lauren Smith of Fryeburg (her new mom), the owners of, and a channel 6 News camera

Johanna gratefully folded herself into the welcoming arms of her new mom. Her 8 month ordeal began in Tennessee where an angry bunch of teenagers hit her with a bat to keep her from barking.

The cruel injury to her spine paralyzed her and left her incontinent. Her owner kept her tied outside to prevent damage to the floors and rugs. All she could do was drag her dead back legs behind her, leaving them scraped and raw.

Beth Farmer of the Humane Society of Warren County, Tennessee, did not let that stand. They took the dog in, providing a loving place to heal while placing a frantic plea for help in the form of a circulating email. Beth found Lauren Smith of Fryeburg, Maine who wanted to Adopt the dog. Lauren is a local representative of, an organization that works to unchain dogs.

At the same time, Judy Francis was interviewing Mark Robinson from for the Hal Abrams radio show on Animal Radio. was talking about Kathy Barton’s class and how the children were learning about the value of handicapped pets; the loving bond that is created when a living things care for one another. The children, in creating community awareness, raised $423.00 to help an animal in need.

As soon as Judy saw the email she called The 4th class was interviewed on Animal Radio and told of the plight of the dachshund (named “Boo” at the time). The class agreed, unanimously, to donate the money they had raised.

Animal Radio and then called Lauren Smith, on the air, and told her the news that the transportation to Maine and the dog wheelchair that the dog would need were provided for. She was thrilled. The full interview with both phone calls can be heard on the website.

Johanna was met with warm smiles and her arrival was filmed by channel 6 news in Portland, Maine.

A new warm bed awaits her in new home in Freyburg. The cart is being made now. will deliver it in a few weeks.

Our warmest, heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this happen!

The full story along with more photos of Johanna, the 4th grade class (with their handicappedPet inventions) and a discussion board can be found at

For more information, see the website or contact Lisa Murray at (603) 577-8854.

Johanna (formerly named “Boo”) is a Dachsund that was injured by a gang of teenagers in Tennessee. Kathy Barton’s 4th grade class in Oklahoma, in conjunction with raised enough money to purchase a dog cart (wheelchairs for dogs) and fly the dog to her new home in Maine.