Russian rescue dog is ready for her new life after she was fitted with four prosthetic titanium paws

MOSCOW (AFP) - Monika the Russian rescue dog is ready for her new life after she was fitted with four prosthetic titanium paws in a pricey and complex operation paid for by a crowd-funding campaign.

Two weeks after the procedure, the small beige pooch is still weak and tired, but she s back on her feet again.

"Luck and experience played its part," said Sergei Gorshkov, the vet who completed the challenging op.

The 33-year-old from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk has fitted artificial limbs on more than 30 furry patients, including a quadruple transplant on a cat.

But this was the first time he had tried the operation on a dog.

Monika had travelled far for this life-changing surgery. She was found by volunteers in a forest near Krasnodar, a city in southern Russia 4,000 kilometres (2,485 miles) from Gorshkov s clinic.

Her four legs were bloody stumps.

"Nobody really knows what happened to her. Some volunteers think that somebody cut her paws off out of cruelty," Gorshkov told AFP.

Monika -- estimated to be between two and four years old -- could have suffered the fate of thousands of stray dogs that are found injured: put down or just left to die.

Luckily, she ended up in the caring hands of Alla Leonkina, a volunteer from Krasnodar.

Leonkina said that for almost a year she and a friend took care of Monika, who was in a "terrible state".

While looking after Monika, she heard about Gorshkov s clinic and launched an online campaign to fund the surgery.

Within a month, they had 400,000 rubles ($5,400, 4,800 euros) -- a large sum for Russia.

Leonkina said that Monika flew to Siberia sitting next to her on the plane.

The campaign also financed the prosthetic titanium legs that were made using a 3D printer.

Gorshkov said that Monika s bones will grow and adapt to the artificial limbs "like antlers on a deer".

And once she s recovered, Monika will be able to walk into her new home.