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


Because their spirits aren't broken

Pets with Disabilities - the making of the organization offering a voice for disabled pets
(a little peak into our reality)

Ten years ago, Mike and I went down to our local rescue to adopt a new member of the family.  We saw this vibrant young shepherd mix, and knew he was the one to join us.  We brought him home and promptly named him Duke.   

Duke was a wonderful, typical puppy who added lots of excitement and joy to our home.  We had no idea he was about to change our lives forever.  2 months after adopting Duke, he was playing with another puppy and had a tragic accident, severing his spinal cord.  At 6 months old our vibrant young rescue dog was in a wheelchair.  Well guess what, Duke was still vibrant and young - he just had special needs.  When we adopted Duke and took him home it was a commitment, thru sickness and health until death do us part – he was a member of our family. So many people forget that adopting a dog is a commitment, and once their dog gets ill or sick they still need to commit to caring for them.

A few months later we heard about another pup named Misty, living in a NY shelter for over 5 years.  Nobody wanted Misty because she had hind leg problems.  Hundreds and Hundreds of people passed her cage, not even giving her a chance.  We went to NY and adopted her immediately. For years Misty became quite a “spokes-dog” for her cause.  People started looking at her, seeing the life in her eyes, and the heart she wanted to share and commented on what a wonderful dog she was, and “How could she had been in a shelter so long?”. 

After loving our wheelchair dog Duke, and seeing the impact Misty had on people, and realizing there was no support system or education available for people dealing with disabled pets, Pets with Disabilities was incorporated to be that support system for these animals with no voice.

For 8 years, while Mike and I both had full time jobs…. We traveled to events and expos’ to speak on behalf of these wonderful spirits, we set-up a website to post animals needing help, at one point we had 12 disabled animals living in our home – and due to the constant need and 100’s of requests for help, we decided to expand our efforts and build our rescue barn, in order to help more dogs. 

Last year I made a huge decision to close my small business and volunteer FULL time on behalf of the disabled animals.  

With the expansion of the rescue, I committed myself totally to the helping these dogs in need.  Many people that visit our website, think we are a huge organization, when in fact, I am a one person show.   I take no salary for my hours and hours of work, and have no paid help and a small core group of volunteers.   This is a labor of love. 

Pets with Disabilities is a rescue, not a dumping ground for people's dogs who have become incontinent.  Guardians/ Owners, shame on you for not being there when your dog gets hurt. When you adopt a dog, it is a commitment; changing your life for a dog you love is what being a human is all about. 

Rescue groups who have taken in a wheelchair dog. Thank you!! Our rescue can’t take them all, it is physically and financially impossible.  We help as many as we can.  Please realize it will take time and patience to get these dogs adopted.  But they deserve to live and given that second chance at finding a new home. That is what rescue work is all about.   

Donations are down, but we continue to help as many dogs as we can. Unfortunately money does not grow on trees.  We have created a safe and wonderful environment for these dogs in need.  They flourish here, and adoptions and miracles are happening here everyday.  I have met the most wonderful folks who have adopted our dogs, amazing and incredible people who just "got it".   They understand these dogs are different but can still be an incredible part of the family and they have.  Cheers to you guys and thank you.  I only wish there were more people on earth like you. 


(Please visit our "In Memoriam" page to meet the other wonderful spirits that assisted us.)

The wonderful spirits that make Pets with Disabilities  
their permanent home

The Sanctuary Pets
These dogs and cats have been rescued and adopted by us. Several had been rehomed and returned to the shelter, others were just unwanted due to their disability. We have made the decision that this will be their last stop. We we will care for these dogs and cats for the remainder of their lives.  We welcome your support.

Maddie, a spunky little mutt, was hit by a car, and suffered a broken spinal cord. Due to Maddie's disability she was relinquished to the St. Francis Society Animal Rescue. Pets with Disabilities adopted Maddie in September 2005. She joins Duke (with a sassy attitude only a strong female can appreciate!) in helping with our mission.

PWD Angel  

Huey, is a bright and handsome Border Collie rescued by our wonderful friends at Glen Highland Farm in Dec 2005. After rescuing him, they soon discovered  Huey was deaf. They emailed us a picture and his story and we became a part of the Glen Highland Farm Family. Since being with us, Huey has learn many of the most important hand signs, and has definitely added lots excitement to our PWD family. 
PWD Angel Thank you Kelly Rende for being Huey's angel!

Thank you Amy Sullivan for being an angel to Huey!

Kiri's journey started in Maryland and now ends in Maryland at our small but growing Pets with Disabilities rescue. Kiri, a Border Collie, was hit by a car. PWD helped find Kiri a new home, in Alberta, Canada. Unfortunately Kiri’s care was too much for her new caretaker. We traveled out to Montana, and with the help of Glen Highland Farm, Kiri was transported across the border to Butte, Montana where we met her, and fell in love with her. Kiri is at home, with her new wheelchairs buddies at PWD.

PWD Angel

Thank you for being wonderful angels to Kiri
(again this year!)

 - Ann Peterson
 - Diane Neis 
 - Lynn and Larry Adelsohn

Meet Dixie.  Dixie was hit by a car which shattered both her legs and hips. Dixie is the sweetest little terrier.  She maintains a calm, "life is good" attitude - being the example for the other dogs.

PWD Angel

Thank you, Barb and Mike McGinty, great friends of our organization, for continued support for Dixie's care.

An eleventh hour rescue! Ernie a two-year-old Samoyed, was rescued by Pets with Disabilities, two hours before he was to be euthanized. Ernie, tragically hurt himself, and now is no longer able to use his back legs. Ernie spent the last month at Ocean State Animal Hospital, in Rhode Island, hoping for a miracle. Unfortunately for Ernie, that miracle never happened, and his guardians were not in the position to care for a dog with special needs. Pets with Disabilities stepped in on Ernie's behalf and outfitted him with a new wheelchair and he will now live his life with others like him! We are looking for angels for Ernie's continued medical care, please donate to Ernie's cause. Thank you

PWD Angel

Thank you Betsy Testerman for being Ernie's Angel

Sweet Megan-her big hound smile says it all.  Megan is totally blind, and was found wondering in a lumber yard. She was scheduled to be euthanized by a rural county pound in Virginia, until Pets with Disabilities swept in and rescued her.  

Within minutes of her arrival, she managed to navigate her way around the rescue brilliantly, by her sense of smell and paw touch.  We soon discovered Megan has a huge purpose here at the rescue...  she has offered to welcome all guests and make new rescue dogs feel at home. (Obviously,  we fell in love with this dog,  she brings a smile to all that meet her.)  She is a great couch cuddler - and is the self proclaimed "mayor" of PWD - happy to greet all visitors - human and canine.... and if you bring a treat, she'll be very grateful!

PWD Angel Thank you Kevin Conley for being Megan's angel

PIERCE came to PWD in March 2009 after spending the first 3 years of his life trapped in a shelter kennel.  He, along with dozens of other dogs were held for 3 years, pending an animal cruelty court case in PA.  During this time, they had no time outside, no human interaction, dogs were in-breeding because they couldn't be vetted - it was awful.  The last 6 months of the court case, a wonderful group of volunteers were allowed into the shelter to help socialize the dogs - and once the case was settled - helped get them out!  

PIERCE came to the rescue very shy and fearful... having never eaten out of a bowl, never climbed stairs, never slept on a couch - needing to learn to trust humans and handle what the world has to offer. We allowed Pierce as much time as he needed to trust us and get comfortable in the rescue facility.  He has been living with Joyce in her home - expanding his world a little more - getting used to the dishwasher, and bathroom sounds, and people knocking at the door.  He's done really well....  and Joyce has found out, he's a great cuddler in bed at night - and he loves cats!! In other words, after more then a year in the rescue program, it's been decided that Pierce is home.

PWD Angel Thank you Kathi Hanna for being an Angel to Pierce.

Candy Cane now Candi,  came to us from a shelter in King William, VA.  She came into the shelter as a stray, with identification. The shelter contacted her owners who explained she had been given away 5 years ago for breeding because of her leg injury and was no longer able to perform her hunting duties.

Her facial expression says it all.  As the shelter told me she has lived a tough life as an over bred female hound. We are certain she was a fabulous mom, but are even more certain she is happy her reproductive days are over. 

It didn't take long for her to wiggle her way into our  hearts.  She has fit into our home as if she has lived with us her entire life. Finally, a warm soft bed in the sun, probably for the first time in her life.

Candi  has entered the final, but best, chapter of her life as the new Pets with Disabilities 3 Legged Ambassador! Welcome Candi,  you can now share your sweet spirit with so many!



PWD Angel

Thank you Jessie & Elizabeth Forsberg
for being angels to Candi

Thank you Jeremy & Angela Dover for being
angels to Candi

Sandy was abandoned after her person died.  Neighbors rallied around her but no one wanted her.   Finally an older retired gentleman stepped in to help her and ask us to help her find a forever home.

Sandy is true  survivor.  Her vertebra is fused.  She was most likely hit by a car with no treatment, as a result her back end is not always in sync with her front end.  As she is  walking/running, occasionally her back end will slip out, but she gets right back up and continues onward.  She is a good sport and handles her disability like a champ.  With her keen eyesight and sharp hearing she will often chase a squirrel or rabbit out of the area. Sandy's beautiful blond coat is a perfect match for her radiant personality. She is smart dog, follows directions very well, and a very loyal protective friend.  She definitely  exhibits the traits of the true German Shepherd spirit.  

PWD Angel  

This past year has been a tough year for Mike and I, losing 3 sanctuary dogs in the past 4 months our home seemed empty! Then along came Nikki (now named Lucy), we both instantly connected to her tail wagging happiness and spirit!  She fit in with all of the dogs, especially Huey who definitely needed a new buddy!  Lucy is a young charismatic dog, who enjoys playing with the all the dogs including the wheelchair dogs, going on trail walks,  playing with tennis balls but most important she has brought smiles and happiness back into our home! Thank you Lucy!  

PWD Angel

Lucy has an angel in memory and honor of Cassie - Thank You

After what must have been a life with a family, he found himself alone, outside on a chain.  A good samaritan stepped in, talked with the owners, and called us. Chester was rescued from a chain and adopted in May 2012! Chester is an unbelievable blind lab mix! He has much more energy then other 8 yr olds we've met.  He's such a cute little guy, his pictures don't come close to showing his true personality. His tail never stops wagging, and is a huge wiggle butt when he is really excited. He is good off leash and has good recall. He is very happy to be with his person whether he is riding in the car or curled up on your lap. While he sometimes bumps into things, it is very hard to believe this guy is blind because he can see right into your heart.

Due some medical issues, Chester is back in the rescue program for 2015.  He will remain in rescue for the remainder of his life.


Abe, blind/deaf senior aussie mix was found in the overnight drop area at an rural Ohio shelter.  Abe was a very neglected senior whose demands are few...  a good meal, a warm bed, a couple of long strolls around the yard and lots of love.  Abe is the nicest and kindest dog anyone could ever encounter, he just goes with the flow and gets along with everyone. Abe has found a rhythm at the rescue, and we feel with his disabilities and age, it would be best not to move him again.  So, he will spend the rest of his life at the rescue.

PWD Angel Thank you to Jane Gentile for being an angel to Abe

Buddy, a domestic cat was most likely abandoned on the streets to fend for himself.  He survived for over 6 months on his own with the  kindness of some  good Samaritans  who fell in love with him.  While being vetted he tested positive for FIV. Hence they reached out to us to get him off the streets and into a safer environment.  When I met this cat,  I immediately renamed him Buddy, because  he will  snuggle by you and purred his way into your heart.  He is a wonderful cat,  and most important gets along with other cats very well!  

Buddy has become our official rescue cat.  Buddy has landed a great position here at the rescue living life large upstairs in my office. He has been a trooper and an instrumental part in helping us place many of our dogs into cat friendly homes.   Thanks Buddy!

PWD Angel

Thank you Laurie & Lee Chisenhall for 
being an angel to Buddy

Meet Cliff our new resident cat!  Cliff was rescued by some of our  NJ rescue friends from a feral cat colony. They quickly realized Cliff was not feral - but by the time they could secure his safety he was pretty beat up.   He lost an eye, contracted FIV and has a cleft pallet. They reached out to us to adopt him and we were actually looking for  another dog friendly cat to add to our home.

Even with all of Cliff health issues, he is one of the nicest, most comical, affectionate cats we have ever met. He acts more like a dog than a cat! A big thank to the NJ rescue who took the time to get him to safety. We adore him!

PWD Angel

Thank you Phyllis Nelson for being an angel to Cliff

PWD Angel  Be a Pets with Disabilities Angel!
All the dogs at Pets with Disabilities, have special needs, otherwise they would not be here. In today's society dogs and cats can no longer get sick, old or physically disabled. Whether they were abandoned, rejected or someone's life changed and they no longer fit in, they are counting on us to help them transition to a new life. They will either stay with us, or they will be rehomed carefully to the right people or families. So if you see a dog in our rescue that tugs out your heart please become his or her angel. Thank You!!

For $350 (less then $1/day) - you can matter in the life of a dog - Receive an "angel magnet" of your dog or for just $30/month - sponsor a dog living at PWD or waiting for their forever home.


The dogs at PWD are fed:
Earthborn Holistic® Dog Formulas
(we have recently decided spend the extra money 
to provide a grain free diet to the rescue dogs)

You can contact our local distributor, place an order - 
and we'll pick it up in our weekly trip to them

231 Farm Center
171 Skipjack Road Prince Frederick, MD 20678

(410) 535-7666    


Selections range from BISCUITS to TOYS to CLEANING SUPPLIES

Every little bit helps and every donation 
is appreciated!

Thank you for your support!!

Pets with Disabilities is an all volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping and promoting the adoption of physically disabled animals into great homes. All donations are tax deductible to the extent permissible by law. 
Contact your tax adviser.
Thank you.

Pets with Disabilities is an officially recognized Maryland Non-Profit Organization.

Our  Rescue Facility - section is under construction - new page being developed
We believe in treating animals the way we would like to be treated. Our new facility might look like a barn but has all the comforts of a cozy home. My husband and I have worked and thought very hard to make a difference in the sheltering of our dogs in rescue. We also wanted our volunteers to enjoy their work. Our new rescue is behind our home and sits before acres of forest. We believe our facility is one of a kind in our area. 

Each apartment is furnished with a sofa, dog beds, lamps, and most important each apartment has a window. We believe light is essential for all living creatures. At night the rescue room is lit by soft blue night lights in each apartment. For the human volunteers and adopters we have a very unique collection of antique lunch boxes bordering the room. The rescue has central air conditioning and heat. There is a TV and or music piped in for the residents in our rescue. Also, no dog runs here at PWD. There are approximately three acres around the barn that are fenced in.


Rescue Ribbon
Rescue Magnet, Design M3
$6.00 including shipping

Pets with Disabilities Ribbon
Adopt Pets with Disabilities Ribbon Magnet, Design M4
$6.00 including shipping

Spay and Neuter Ribbon
Spay and Neuter Magnet, Design M5
$6.00 including shipping

Attention international customers. All prices are in US dollars. There is an $8 shipping charge for all orders shipped outside the USA.

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©2006 - 2008 Pets with Disabilities, Inc. All rights reserved.


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