The mission at Pets with Disabilities is to promote adoption of dogs with disabilities - this includes providing vet care, a quality diet, love and exercise to any dog at the rescue until they find their new families.  But since Duke and Misty (the canine co-founders) were wheelchair dogs, we were drawn to help some very special dogs - dogs that will be spending their lives with us at the rescue.  We'd like to introduce you to our "rolling pack" of dogs - they each have remarkable spirits and a zest for life -but, they also need a little extraordinary care. 

Each one of them is looking for a "Heart Connection" to support their care - provide some spiritual energy to keep living the life of an unbroken spirit



Meet our three-legged ambassador, Lucy! Lucy came to PWD from a shelter in South Carolina. She sustained a traumatic injury with her right front leg, and amputation was necessary. Lucy was extremely shy and slow to find comfort in her surroundings. She soon attached herself to Michael, and slowly her personality started to blossom into quite a confident pup. She became a very charismatic and a lover of everyone in her eye line - dog, cat, and human alike! She is extremely alert and intelligent, and loves to play ball with her wheelchair and able-bodied canine crew.

Lucy’s easy-going nature and friendliness make her a great ambassador for three-legged dogs. She attends many events with the PWD founders to help promote adoption of pets with disabilities and spread awareness beyond our current PWD community. Lucy’s forever-home is at the rescue, where we rely on her to help us continue this important work. We are so grateful she came into our lives!

Will you find a "Heart Connection" with Lucy? Please consider supporting Lucy’s continued care!

  Lucy found a Heart Connection with Leslie Seinfeld



Huey is a deaf Border Collie that came to PWD from our friends at Glen Highland Farm. After rescuing Huey and several other dogs from a dangerous breeder situation, they discovered Huey was deaf. He was only 8 weeks old at the time, and Glen Highland Farm asked Mike and Joyce if they were interested in adopting him.

As Huey got settled at PWD, we found a bright and handsome spirit that brought life to the rescue. The start of life was hard on Huey, and as he grew, he began exhibiting some anti-social behaviors such as resource-guarding, meaning he is very protective of food, and over-herding other dogs and humans. Huey has the high intelligence typical of a border collie, but his behaviors are unusual for his breed and require intervention and management, and thus Huey will continue at PWD as a permanent resident. Huey has truly found his place at PWD – he is our first pup to learn to respond to sign language, and he has found a confidence in his best canine buddy Lucy who provides him a sense of security. Huey adds a special dimension to the house – his energy and dynamic spirit infuse life into the rescue and keep us all moving!

Will you have a "heart connection" with Huey? Please consider supporting him, PWD’s ambassador for the hearing-impaired pups!

  Huey found a Heart Connection with Leslie Seinfeld



Charlotte came to us as an extremely abused and over-bred pit-bull who had no use of either of her back legs. We are not exactly sure how Charlotte became so handicapped, but what we do know is that poor Charlotte was living in terrible circumstance: when she was no longer able to breed, she became useless and was placed in a dark isolated closet for YEARS! When Charlotte arrived at PWD, the great veterinary teams we work with found that she had sustained injury to her front shoulder, rendering a front leg partially immobile as well. This precluded her from benefiting from a wheelchair, and without options for improving her mobility, we focused on helping Charlotte adapt to routine and manage her own space. Because of the extent of her disabilities and care requirements, Charlotte is not a candidate for adoption, and will continue to live here at PWD.

Charlotte is an incredibly loving and good-natured dog who enjoys basking in sunlight, her morning “walks” in the wagon around the rescue, and quality time with her loyal crew of visitors. She is the old soul among us at PWD! We love Charlotte and are so happy a Good Samaritan came forth to get Charlotte out of her situation. She is a true testament to the pit-bull breed, so kind and loving, and maternal to the other wheelchair pups she now shares her days with.

Will you have a "heart connection" with Charlotte? Please consider supporting Charlotte’s care – we are so grateful for the opportunity to give her a better life!

Charlotte found some Heart Connections
Jessie & Elizabeth Forsberg
-Tanya Gott



Hank came to PWD from our friends at Regional Animal Shelter with a missing paw, which he most likely lost to a hunting trap. Hank is a typical good-natured hound dog who enjoys all the good things in life: “his pack,” any and all food, sunbathing, and being outdoors. He is a natural protector and companion to the most vulnerable dog souls – you will often find him cuddling with Charlotte on the porch, relaxing with Pierce in the house, or sleeping on a dog bed with one of our resident felines.

Hank was designated as a PWD resident because despite his great personality, he also exhibited some serious destructive tendencies. Hank’s love of chewing extends beyond toys to sofas, wooden furniture, carpets, and anything else in his path. In his early days at the rescue, Hank had to spend a lot of time in his crate because he couldn’t be trusted alone. Luckily, in time we were able to understand his tendencies and develop a routine that keeps destruction at bay, and Hank no longer in a crate! We are grateful to have this incredible warm soul in our PWD family.

Will you find a "Heart Connection" with Hank? Please consider supporting Hank!

Hank found a Heart Connection with Millie Groobey



Dixie is a spirited and sweet little Terrier who came to PWD from a shelter in Ohio. Dixie was hit by a car resulting in two shattered hips; the shelter cared for her and attempted to find her a new home, where she was adopted and returned several times. A local couple (now great friends and super-supporters) contacted PWD to help Dixie find a more permanent situation. She was bounced around quite a few times. We said yes...

PWD fit Dixie for a wheelchair and helped her to get acclimated. Dixie is a fabulous example of a dog whose life is enhanced daily by her wheelchair. You can see her zooming around the rescue every morning, as she loves to run and requires the wheels to avoid injury to the lower half of her body. She also loves spending time with her buddy Ernie and snuggling her face into freshly laundered blankets when it’s time to relax!

As an aging senior, Dixie’s medical care has become more complicated and costly in recent years. Dixie developed kidney complications around age 12 and requires routine blood and urine analysis with our internal medicine doctor. She is on a special diet and medication to help her kidneys stay healthy. Despite her ailments, Dixie’s terrier spirit is alive and well, and she maintains a positive “life is good” attitude. She can be a bit bossy at times, but we love it because we know that means she is feeling GREAT!

Dixie needs your "Heart Connection". Please consider supporting Dixie’s continued care! Her medical costs total roughly $100 each month.

Dixie found some Heart Connections
Barb and Mike McGinty
-Carla LaGrassa



Sandy is an eight-year-old German shepherd mix with fused vertebra that limits the use of her back end. Sandy was abandoned on the streets of Baltimore. Thankfully Sandy’s neighbors rallied together to care for her and finally we were called to help find her a new forever home that could handle her disabilities. We found Sandy has an energetic personality with a zest for life… and chasing squirrels! Sandy’s back end is not always working in conjunction with her front end, so it will slip out from underneath her as she is walking or running – Sandy has adapted to her disability and taken to “scooting” her way around!

Sandy was available for adoption for about 18 months, and her sweet personality and keen intellect sparked a lot of interest from the adopter community, but Sandy’s weak control over her bladder and bowels combined with her limited mobility create a real challenge for any household. We decided that Sandy would remain at PWD where we could give her an environment conducive for scooting and a place she could call home. Sandy meshed immediately with her group at PWD, as she is a great friend to both dogs and humans. True to the Shepherd in her pedigree, she is very alert and a dedicated guard dog – each morning, she examines the perimeter of the rescue and lets Joyce know what is going on before she starts the early morning routines!

Will you be Sandy's "Heart Connection?" Please consider supporting Sandy’s continued care. We are happy to be Sandy’s second real home and grateful for her loyalty and protection!

  Sandy found a Heart Connection with Leslie Seinfeld



Duchess,  aka "Big Mama"  was being fostered by Mike and Joyce and has wedged her way into their hearts.  She has come a long way since that first day back in early December!  Over the past months her sweet  personality has come thru. She is always wagging her tail and grown quite attached to Joyce, and her favorite pup is Hank!  (although not sure if Hank knows this) The cats adore her too, rubbing up against her and sleeping by her side. Welcome to PWD.  We all know Mike and Joyce are happy to be able to help another white German shepherd in honor of their founding pup Duke!

Duchess is a two year old, blind, white German Shepherd. She was born blind and has lived her entire life in an isolated, filthy, chain link kennel in California, along with 40 other dogs that were rescued. It was heart breaking to find out Duchess had been left behind, due to her disability, while so many of the other dogs were on their way to a better life. PWD was contacted and raised the funds to fly her from California to Maryland.

She is now adjusting slowly to a more controlled home environment. She is doing great and making daily progress. We think she did pretty much anything she wanted to for the past 2 years, so this has been quite a change for her. She is enjoying all her new canine and feline friends but is a bit unsure of humans. We will give her the time she needs to learn that humans are part of her world now.

Duchess found a Heart Connection with Millie Groobey - thank you!

Jane Gentile and Duchess have a Heart Connection - thank you!



Siri was a stray found on the city streets. She was blind, and had a broken jaw and gaping wound in her head. Her injuries seemed to stem from blunt force trauma, a product of human-inflicted cruelty, and we knew if she was going to survive she needed urgent medical assistance. Siri was emaciated and refusing food due to a head injury and infection in her nasal cavity. Siri was evaluated and stabilized, treated for infection, and scheduled for surgery. She underwent two different major surgeries; the second successfully closed her wounds and set her on her way to recovery. Siri required meticulous care to allow her body to heal and her spirit to reinvigorate. Siri’s veterinary expenses were extensive but have proved to be a great success. We are happy to report that Siri is healthy and enjoying her time and routines at the rescue!

Siri is an independent spirit and a true survivor. We had hoped to find Siri a new forever home with a great adopter, but she remains extremely fearful of new humans and skeptical of changes in her surroundings, which pose a great challenge to bonding with a new family. She cannot be confined and loves to be outside for the majority of day. Siri will remain at PWD where she can feel in control of her life and domain, and continue to build her confidence with humans. She loves the rescue yard, and we love to watch her prance her now 40 pound body across the field with confidence and joy. After her stroll around the yard, you will find her sound asleep in a bed of leaves or on a cozy blanket on our porch. She also has made it made it quite clear that her feeding schedule needs to be adhered to, as well. She is truly one unique dog.

The deck had been stacked against her throughout her life, but Siri managed to get herself out of hell. We love telling Siri’s story, and are grateful to our supporters that we were able to give her the chance she needed. And WOW, it sure is a thrill to see her doing so great now!

Will Siri be your "Heart Connection?" Please consider supporting Siri!

Siri found a Heart Connection with Pamela Miller
Siri found a Heart Connection with
Millie Groobey  



Clyde is a Shepherd/Hound mix who came to PWD from a terrible hoarding situation. Clyde was living in an area with bigger dogs when one jumped on him causing irreversible nerve damage that went untreated. His left back leg dragging, a huge infected wound developed on his leg, and amputation was required. Although he can still walk, Clyde has no control over his bladder or bowels. He warmed up quickly to his new surroundings at the rescue, but remains very fearful of bigger dogs and humans too.

Because of Clyde’s ongoing medical issues and temperament, it became clear it was in Clyde’s best interest to continue as a permanent PWD resident, where we can manage his pain and interaction with other dogs. He has become very content in his apartment at the rescue and looks forward to his daily routines – especially his peanut butter bones and mealtimes! Clyde is certainly a trooper and handles his three-legged ableness as best as he can!

Are you Clyde's "Heart Connection"?  Please consider supporting Clyde’s continued care here at PWD – we are so appreciative that we are able to give him this new chance at life.

Clyde found a Heart Connection with Pamela Miller

Meet Princess, a 7 year old 60 lbs. Aussie/lab mix who is deaf. Princess found herself in a rural Virginia Shelter after her fur mom passed away. She is an extremely smart and loving dog. Although she is deaf, she is alert and very tuned into her surroundings. Her recall is phenomenal, when we need her to return to the barn and settle in her apartment she returns quickly with just a simple hand command.

She even knows how to sit and give you her paw. (She will do anything for a treat!) She lives for her food, treats, and knuckle bones! She has been a very easy dog, house trained, good on a lead, sleeps a lot but does love to go out and explore, crate trained and a good car rider. She would be great as an only dog or with an older calm dog. Please consider making Princess part of your family

UPDATE: Princess was adopted and return to the rescue - a completely different dog. After her return to the rescue-  Princess has had a complete medical evaluation - and TIME to re-balance. Princess lost nearly 15 lbs and we now recognize the wonderful dog we knew. She did return with some behavior issues that are not caused by a medical issue, so we have decided to give Princess a permanent home here at PWD where she can live out her life with people that know how to manage her and that she trusts.  Welcome home, Princess.

Princess found a Heart Connection with Kelly Rende - thank you!

MICAH, a 12 yr old border collie was left at a local shelter after an eviction from their home. He arrived lame in his back hips, no hair on his back or tail, a suspicious growth in his mouth and needing his bladder expressed daily. He was in rough shape, but still had the border collie spirit for life. The shelter spent weeks reaching out to rescues and PWD was the only one to respond. During his neuter surgery the growth was removed from his mouth (completely benign) and his "bladder issue" was determined to be a very simple procedure to enlarge the opening at the end of his urethra. Micah is a HAPPY guy these days, doing "his business" on his own, getting good food and TLC to help his hair grow back and on meds for the arthritis pain in his hips allowing him to rebuild the muscles in his back legs.

Micah is in a long term foster home, enjoying sleeping in a bed, now going over the stairs and having his people with him all day. He's very connected to his foster mom and those big eyes that see into your heart, they make her melt everyday. Micah will remain a PWD sanctuary dog due to his medical issues. He is on a special food and daily medication. He has seen several specialists and we know he will continue to need their consultation.

Micah needs a heart connection - if you would like to help with his medical needs, we would appreciate it! (He is surely getting ALL the TLC necessary!)

Will Micah be your "Heart Connection?" Please consider supporting Micah!

Benny was relinquished by a beagle breeder to PWD; once he became completely blind he was no longer of use to any hunter and off the market. Benny was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts, and was a great candidate for surgery – we were fortunate that the doctors at Animal Eye Care were able to successfully make him partly visual! Benny was then adopted into a loving beagle home, where his congenial personality was able to shine. You could generally find Benny playing with his fellow dogs or relishing in the attention of his caretaker, or barking to ask for a quick snack.

After the untimely death of his adopter, Benny returned to PWD to live his life as part of the rescue family. Many beagles are in need of a home, and we are grateful his adopter championed Benny’s cause for so long, and we are happy to continue that work. Benny is a young senior pup and starting to experience some medical issues, and his eyes still require yearly exams. He is a joy to have here at PWD… a complete chow-hound who loves his bed and the company of other dogs and cuddling with humans. His blindness definitely led him to a better life!

Please consider supporting Benny! We are honored to be able to continue his care – once a part of the PWD family, always a part of the PWD family

Meet Harley, a blind beagle with a forever-wagging tail and adventurous spirit. Harley came to PWD from a military family moving overseas, who did not have the ability to take him along. At PWD, we met a curious beagle who refused to let his blindness get in the way of his explorations or easy breezy take on life.

Harley was adopted into a great beagle-loving household where he loved to spend his days exploring his yard and laying in the sun with his canine and human family. He was known as the nurturer of his pack, always showing affection for his beagle buddies. After his caretaker’s unexpected passing in 2016, PWD welcomed Harley back into the rescue family, where he will be cared for throughout the remainder of his life.

As an aging senior dog, Harley is experiencing arthritis and we are preparing for new ailments that come with age. Please consider supporting Harley’s continued care, as we are devoted to providing him with the same great life that his Adopter had worked so hard to give him

  Benny AND Harley found Heart Connections with Leslie Seinfeld - Thank You!

Meet the PWD FELINES!  Understanding FIV-positive cats

Many of our dogs will encounter feline family members in their new homes. We make every attempt to test the dogs and set appropriate expectations for the new family in many areas, but specifically if they can live in harmony with a cat. FIV cats are unnecessarily overlooked in shelters - like many dogs with disabilities. We have adopted several FABULOUS FIV cats over the past 15 years.
Each have offered their services as "cat tester". 

The facts and "un-truths" about living with FIV cats:

  1. FIV is not contagious to dogs or humans
  2. FIV is spread via a deep bite wound during a fight between cats. If the cat gets along with other cats - no fights - no concerns
  3. FIV cats live a normal length life, full of energy. They just need to be monitored for infections and dental issues. But if they’re well cared for, they can be healthy, happy, wonderful pets
  4. FIV cats need wonderful homes too! Do your research, have an open mind and heart and find a new family member at your local shelter.

Tommy is our resident Ruler of the Roost in our founders’ home! Tommy came to PWD from a local shelter after testing positive for FIV. Tommy fit right in with the PWD clan, both as a feline socializer for new PWD dogs, and also as an entertaining presence who is always on the lookout for extra snacks! What a lovable cool tomcat!

Pumpkin came to us from a local vet office – Pumpkin arrived there and the office staff immediately fell in love with her.  Pumpkin tested positive for FIV and had sustained a pelvic fracture, which generally means euthanasia, and the office worked diligently to help find her a place to go. Luckily, we were in the position to bring her into PWD.  Pumpkin was extremely fearful of everyone and everything.  Over time, she has certainly found her place and is beginning to come out of her shell, through the help of the other cats.  You can find her cuddling with her buddy Newman and constantly seeking out more and more human attention. What a great addition to the feline family here at PWD!

Newman arrived at PWD from a shelter in Maryland where he tested positive for FIV. Newman fits right in with his fellow dog and cats in our founders’ home. He is very affectionate and a great asset in assessing new dogs’ abilities to get along with felines… we are lucky to have this beautiful blonde guy here at PWD.

Reggie was rescued from a shelter in Baltimore City; he was an older cat who tested positive for FIV and needed a FIV-friendly rescue to step up on his behalf. When Reggie arrived at PWD, he was terrified of dogs and suffering from cuts and bruises and a deep slash in his face. We worked hard to socialize him, a painstaking process that was well worth the effort, as Reggie is living the life at our senior sanctuary – he sure is king of the (dog) pack! Reggie is a friendly cat who has been able to really find his footing here at the rescue.

Our feline friends are also looking for a "heart connection!" Please consider supporting the care of our cats living with FIV here at PWD!
We are grateful to be able to offer a home to these wonderful animals that often go un-adopted.

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

National Capital Area CFC Number 71315