Dog Adoption Rescue Barn Cat Adoption Duke, barn and cat
Education · Support · Rescue · Shelter · Wheelchair Assistance


National Capital Area CFC Number 71315

Because their spirits aren't broken

Founders and Directors of
Pets with Disabilities  

Pets with Disabilities Founders, Joyce Darrell and her husband Michael Dickerson

Joyce Darrell, along with her husband Michael Dickerson, founded the Pets with Disabilities organization in 2000. Their lives were changed forever after their rescue dog Duke broke his back playing as a puppy. 

Having nowhere to turn for help in caring for him, they started the organization Pets with Disabilities - a rescue and resource that provides information and support to families caring for pets with disabilities. The story of Duke (and later Misty, another wheelchair-bound dog)  has helped raise awareness about disabled pets and has reached thousands of people worldwide.  The grassroots organization and Web site,  provides support and information to animal caretakers whose pets suffer from birth defects or have become disabled due to illness or injury. 

Mike and Joyce travel all over the country with Duke and several other dogs, promoting their mission: "Provide a positive voice for dogs and cats with disabilities that desperately need homes"

Powerful spokes-dogs Duke and Misty have been featured on NBC’s Today show, as well as in Prevention and Dog Fancy magazines. They are always the center of attention at every pet exposition they attend!

Board Member:  Virginia Johnson

Virginia Johnson and her blind collies, Lady and Emma, have been Pets with Disabilities volunteers since the beginning. Lady and Emma, both blind since birth, have been meeting and greeting thousands of people over the years, and Virginia has been educating people about blind dogs. 

Lady, the dog on the right is a Certified Therapy Dog and she has been instrumental in helping young children to read. When Virginia is not volunteering her dogs, she works as a Human Resource Specialist for Hershey Import Company. They all reside in Hamilton Square, New Jersey.

Board Member:  Cindy Rollins

Cindy Rollins, has been involved in rescue efforts since 2001.  As a business owner, wife and mother of 2, she has brought her whole family, staff, and most acquaintances into the world of animal welfare and asks each to participate in rescue efforts.  Her family has adopted 8 rescue dogs....  and also enjoys the company of any occasional foster dog.

"What Mike and Joyce do EVERYDAY is beyond the capacity and capability of most rescue groups.  I have met the wonderful spirits they share their lives with, I have the utmost respect for their hearts and courage.  Thanks, on behalf of those animals you are giving a voice" - Cindy

Director of Fundraising:  Sharon Sirkis

Sharon Sirkis has been tremendously instrumental in promoting the mission of Pets with Disabilities since she offered to volunteer her services.  She manages all the silent auction items in our Annual "Toast to Pets with Disabilities" at the Running Hare Vineyard, accompanies Joyce in many of the community visits/engagements and is a daily sounding board for the ups and downs at the rescue.   THANK YOU, Sharon!! 

Enjoy the stories on our site, a celebration of ingenuity, compassion and unconditional love shared between disabled pets and their caregivers.

Disabled animals show a special kind of devoted loyalty to their caregivers so if you have room in home and in your heart adopt a disabled animal, it just might be the best pet you will ever have.

Thank you for your support.


Pets with Disabilities  635 Clay Hammond Road,  Prince Frederick, MD 20678, USA
Phone: 443-624-9270  Email: