4 min read

7 Amazing Tripawds to Brighten Your Day


Written by Adam Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/22/2023, edited: 02/22/2023


March 3 is International Tripawd Awareness Day, celebrating our three-legged fur-babies. International Tripawd Awareness Day also raises awareness about limb amputations and injuries, as well as congenital issues that can cause felines and canines to have one less limb. 

To celebrate these "pawsome" tripawds, we've rounded up 7 famous and inspirational three-legged dogs and cats to brighten your day. Scroll down to learn about these amazing tripawds!


Champion from the popular sitcom "Parks and Recreation" is arguably the most famous pop culture tripawd. Adopted by April and Andy from a Pawnee animal shelter, Champion is a white and brown Pit Bull missing his front right leg. 

Whenever this tripawd Pittie is on screen, he's a real scene-stealer. As April and Andy say, he can do more with three legs than most dogs can with four — but he's really bad at digging. 

Fun facts about Champion: "he" is actually a "she" portrayed by a female Los Angeles doggo named Lucy. Lucy is a bit of a Hollywood star, having also made cameo appearances in "The Office" and "Criminal Minds".


Jeanie the three-legged dog is one of the most Insta-famous tripawds, with over 35,000 followers. Jeanie is a rescue from Lake Charles, LA, who had a deformed front leg that needed to be amputated. 

Her pet parent describes her as "Pomayorkapoopillon," a mixture of PomeranianYorkshire TerrierPoodle, and Papillon. She made national news when she won the 2018 American Hero Dog Awards.

Jeanie lives an incredible life — she once saved an elderly cockatiel from a hawk attack, is the star of her own children's book, and was the April image for the 2015 Petco Foundation calendar. Perhaps most importantly, Jeanie is a therapy dog, visiting schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to spread joy to those that need it.


Layka the military dog is "pawssibly" the most courageous tripawd in history. This Belgian Malinois is a highly decorated war hero, having served with US Army Rangers in Afghanistan in 2013. During an assault on an enemy compound, Layka was shot four times in the right shoulder by an AK-47. 

Despite her injuries, Layka was still able to attack and subdue the assailant, potentially saving the lives of her fellow soldiers. Layka was flown to a nearby base, where her leg was amputated due to the severity of the wound. 

Layka was awarded the Purple Heart for her bravery and became the first dog to receive the Medal of Heroism since World War II. She also appeared on the front cover of National Geographic and was featured in the HBO documentary "War Dog: A Soldier's Best Friend."

Related: Famous K9 Heroes to Honor on K9 Veterans Day


For many years, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has had a rule about letting three-legged dogs compete in agility trials — until Rascal came around. This tripawd became one of the fastest Norwich Terriers at agility during the pandemic. 

But sadly, he was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, which meant his leg had to be amputated. But that wouldn't slow this amazing tripawd down. He returned to action two weeks later and eventually successfully entered the 4-inch jump category, becoming the first tripawd to compete in AKC agility competitions.


Rocket the three-legged cat has been on quite the journey. Originally from Ukraine, Rocket was released by his family when Russian bombs began to fall. He was then hit by a car while people were fleeing the destruction. 

Thankfully, Rocket was rescued by a pop-up animal sanctuary in the Kyiv Hills and adopted by a UK volunteer named Wendy. After Rocket recovered, he was whisked away 1,600 miles to Birmingham, England. 

Rocket takes his name from the bombs that fell on Ukraine and uprooted his life. Wendy says Rocket is surprisingly laid-back and acts more like a dog than a cat. One of his favorite activities is escorting Wendy to the local pub!

Related reads: 

Little Mighty

From a broken leg to the Puppy Bowl, Little Mighty is one lucky pup. When Indyhumane rescued Little Mighty, he had a badly broken back left leg that needed to be amputated. When Indyhumane got the call to be featured in the Puppy Bowl, Little Mighty was the perfect age and temperament. 

He became a bit of a star during the recording of the Puppy Bowl, and managed to get adopted by his new pet parent, Lexi. This tripawd Pittie is super friendly, playful, and energic — Lexi says he acts just like any other dog. You catch Little Mighty representing the Hoosier state at the 2023 Puppy Bowl on February 12.


The story of Haatchi and Owen is truly heartwarming. Owen has Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome, a rare condition causing bone and muscle stiffness affecting around 50 people worldwide. Haatchi is an Anatolian Shepherd that has his leg and tail removed after being cruelly tied to a railway line and hit by a train. 

Following the adoption of Haatchi, Owen's life completely changed. Owen was initially anxious about his condition, but seeing how strong Haatchi was with three legs, Owen was also inspired to be strong and outgoing. This story has touched hearts worldwide and even inspired a book, "Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog."

Do you have an amazing tripawd story you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments or on Instagram!

Comments (1)

Franny Panny


I really love this article. Its right up our alley!! The 12th Annual Picnic for Three Legged Dogs is July 16th 2023 in San Francisco. Come join us! For more info www.threeleggeddogpicnic.com

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