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

Some Heart Warming Stories of the
wonderful spirits that have been helped by
Pets with Disabilities

We adopted Duke from our local animal shelter in March, 1999. With all of his puppy energy I would take him to a friend's house to play with his pups. One July afternoon, at my friend's house, something was terribly wrong with Duke; he was standing but could not walk to me. Not knowing his back was broken, I picked him up and drove him to the vet. She X-rayed Duke and discovered his back was broken. Of course we had two choices, putting Duke to sleep or immediate surgery. (Trying to find a veterinary surgeon on the Fourth of July weekend was not the easiest task.) 
We did find a surgeon a little over an hour away. Through all of this Duke was still wagging his tail. How could you put a pet to sleep while he is still wagging his tail? I knew we had a special pet. The surgeon thought Duke had about an 80% chance of walking again but the operation did not go as well as expected and Duke was paralyzed. We picked Duke up four days later, wondering how we would care for a puppy who was recovering from a broken back and who could not walk. We learned fast! My husband slept on the kitchen floor for a good month and a friend got on the Internet to find wheelchairs for Duke. Ten months later Duke has his wheels, is healthy and provides joy and inspiration to many people.

Misty is just a real weird story. In January, I received a New York Times article from a long time friend. The article was about pets and human intervention. There was a small paragraph about Misty; and they explained her condition and said that after being in a shelter for five years had finally found a home. The article was wrong. Misty was still in the shelter. My husband and I thought about having the two handicapped dogs. We figured we had a 70 pound handicapped dog so a 20 pound handicapped dog would be easy. So we drove to New York and picked her up. She needed some TLC and of course a new wheelchair. She and Duke have become soul mates. They even eat and drink out of the same bowls. You can't stop these two.

THE INSPIRING GUS!!  and the people that love him. 
Back in May, my girlfriend came home from school (she's getting her Master's in Nursing) and, after about 15 minutes of acting normally, she called me in a panic saying that Gus couldn't get up or use his hind legs.  I rushed home from work (I'm a mental health therapist) to find that what she'd said was true.  We took him to the vet immediately, opted against expensive diagnostic procedures and surgery for financial reasons, and let Gus stay with the vet a few days where he was treated with anti-inflammatory and pain meds.  He came back to us horribly urine-burned and scared, fully paralyzed in the rear.  The doctors told us he has a degenerative joint condition blocking the innervation of his hind legs and the arthritis of a 10-yr-old dog to boot!  They were none to optimistic....

Long story short, we kept him and I will never regret it.  He has made so much progress, he has probably 20% functioning in his left hind and 60% in his right.  He get himself up and around without a problem, constantly amazing me by getting up on the couch or bed or going up and down large flights of stairs.  About a month ago, we got him some wheels, and he is just ecstatic.  He walks farther and faster now than he did before his paralysis!  Very rough terrain, too, he's as strong as an ox! 

The first couple of months were incredibly tough, and I have to say that I looked to your site for inspiration. The stories of the pets you work and have worked with are simply amazing - truly admirable - and they refueled me when my tank was low.

Gus is 70 lbs - he was about 85 when first paralyzed - and we live in a townhouse with pretty much no back yard.  But even in this less-than-ideal situation both we and dogs have adapted.  We've handled so many problems - infections, bleeding, pressure sores, and Gus' ever-present incontinence and occasional diarrhea - and we continue to handle them as they come up.  But what a learning curve!  When I first brought him home I laid him on a couch cushion on the floor with a blanket over it.  No pee pads, no wraps, no diaper, no boot, no cage, no bed, no buckets, no wheels, no aquaphor, and no metronidizale!  All we had initially was a harness for his butt, which I used to walk him twice a day up until we got his wheels a month ago. It's pretty amazing to think about all we've learned and how far we've come from that sad, scary day. 

I'd thought of writing to you countless times over those first few months, and occasionally thought of asking you to take him.  But keeping Gus is one of the most rewarding things I've done, and I wouldn't change my decision for anything.  It's taught me so many things, not the least of which is how smart, strong, and adaptable Gus is.  Everywhere we take him, he draws a crowd.  Kids love him and their parents are always very interested and supportive.  Most of the people we speak to say they've never seen a dog in a wheelchair before.  We really enjoy changing that.  We're trying to get him involved in pet therapy, he need some additional training b/c he's been skittish on occasion with adult strangers since his paralysis  And by that I don't mean aggressive, he tends to try and run behind me or away in those situations. And he still loves kids, they come right up and pet him all day and he LOVES it!  I think he could really but good for children and adolescents adjusting to their own wheelchairs. 

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you're doing something wonderful, and it has inspired me to keep going when I thought I couldn't and to do something wonderful, too!  I can't tell you how valuable your example has been.  I hope that I'm able to get Gus out there and continue to raise awareness about the value of handicapped animals. 

Lastly, I wanted to ask if you ever have visitors to your kennel.  I would be very interested to see how you do things down there with so many animals, and all of us, especially Gus, would love meeting other dogs with special needs.  If it would be possible to arrange something, no rush at all, please let me know.  Thanks for the inspiration, and keep up the good work.


Dan, Lisa, Charlie, and Gus

Josh was a miracle adoption, an older cat with a heart murmur, feline leukemia, and a lame leg, he only had one thing that made him adoptable, he loves dogs. He was adopted by Pets With Disabilities, where he now lives with three other dogs, one that loves cats.

I wound up getting more than I planned at the Pet Expo this year! As I made my way down the aisles of vendor booths, my heart stopped and I immediately became overwhelmed. There was a beautiful white dog happy as can be soaking up every bit of attention he could get and stopped along the booth beside his to get a free snack from the woman tending the booth. Whatís so different about this dog when there were hundreds of others doing the same thing?

My eyes locked on Duke and I had to go meet him and learn about his story. Then I met Misty, a sweet little girl laying in her bed on the booth table! I met this wonderful couple who told me about their mission with Pets With Disabilities. It took all of a few minutes before I asked if they needed volunteers or foster homes. Joyce advised that I go home and search their website to see if there were any dogs I could handle in a foster situation, then e-mail the address on the site with my information.

I went home, walked through the door, gave my dogs Bogey and Bear some love then booted up the computer! As I read each animalís scenario, tears filled my eyes. I was so inspired by their will to survive given the abuse and/ or injury they sustained and by the people who see value in them and make their fight possible. I want to stay in bed on a bad hair day, these animals live life to the fullest no matter what their plight is!

I clicked on an e-mail address and sent my contact information for the dogs that had needs my home, time and furry family members could meet. Three e-mails came back almost immediately stating they had found their adoptive homes. About an hour later, my phone rang. A nice woman named Barbara called and told me all about Big Bearís past of abuse, how he came to her and what his disabilities were. I told her about myself, my pets, the animal rescue work I do and about how meeting Duke that morning prompted me to do this. I told her I could handle him and told her to send me the application. I could handle this foster without any problems! Barbara called back later that night and said she was comfortable with sending Big Bear to me. I asked where she was located so we could discuss when I could pick him up. It was at that point I knew fate had played a funny game on me!

Barbara was calling from B.O.N.E.S., Better Options for Neglected Strays, an animal reservation for strays and abused/neglected animals in California. The e-mail address under Big Bearís picture and story was Barbaraís, not Joyceís. I had also submitted an adoption application, not a foster application. Sure, I was mistaken the entire time but please believe there were no mistakes in what happened. I explained to Barbara what happened but that I had a place in my family and home and enough love to give to her Big Bear. It was as simple as that, an unplanned meeting at a Pet Expo, an e-mail addressed to someone other than I intended to write, and a coast to coast telephone discussion with a woman who told me about a dog I had never met. Not to mention, my one dogís name is Bear. Fate!

Given my recent enlightenment about the situation, Barbara told me to take the night to think about it and get back to her. My mind was buzzing about why I should and why I shouldnít adopt this dog. I came up with a million reasons why I should, and the only problem I could think of was that Big Bear would have to get used to a new name since I had a little Bear already. I called Barbara that night and told her I didnít need any more time to think about it, I wanted him. She told me she was so happy to make the connection and that she had waited for this day to come for Big Bear as he had been at the reservation for two and a half years. It was both very emotional and exciting for me.

The next morning I decided to Ďdrop iní on Joyce at her booth at the Pet Expo and "catch up." I refreshed her memory of who I was from the day before then announced the pending adoption. Her facial expression was classic. She asked me to confirm that I met her the day before, went home and searched her site that night and was there to tell her a day later that I had adopted a pet? She gave me a huge hug and congratulated me. From that point on I have been in touch with Joyce keeping her informed of Big Bearís journey from California to New Jersey and on how he has been doing since he arrived in March.

I have a beautiful, loving, thankful, soulful creature that I have the privilege of loving and caring for. I am thankful for what this adoption has taught me. That given the chance and some love, animals will return their appreciation and love in bounds and that there are wonderful, tender, caring people who see the value in animals that others would simply discard. See, my boy cannot be as thankful to have me as I am for having him. Big Bearís name is now Mikko, it means "gift from God".

Mikko spends his days demanding full belly rubs and forehead kisses. He has a big comfy bed, a wardrobe of snazzy collars/leashes/bandanas, a plethora of treats to snack on and enjoys chewing bones next to his brothers, Bear and Bogey. I do have one problem with Mikko. No matter how many times I explain to him that he is a suburbanite dog who goes to the groomer now and not a yard dog anymore he insists on laying in the dirt rain or shine! Amongst the nice thick green grass there are a few patches of dirt Ö he rolls in it every time!

I have so much respect for Joyce and Barbara, their work is so very important. In addition to having Mikko in my life, I am happy to have met and know Joyce and Barbara. They are inspirations to me.

Ivy, the dog on the left, was dropped off at Pets with Disabilities, on a Friday afternoon. Ivy was a two-year-old neglected blind Jack Russell Terrier. She was born with no eyes. Fate would step in, within a week, PWD found Ivy new home with a wonderful couple who cared for an another blind Jack Russell Terrier. Ivy had a great temperament but had some major issues due to her disability and not being cared for properly. Despite her issues, this young couple never wavered in their decision to take her home and give her the time and attention she desperately needed. She is blossoming into a wonderful pet.

My wife and I have always loved Samoyeds so 10 years ago we brought home our Bear along with him came his sister Samantha as Nancy's mother and father loved this breed as well. Sam and Bear were raised together and were hardly apart except when Bear had to go home with us. We lived across the street form Nancy's parents and her dad worked from home so Bear was there most of the time. Nancy's parents were retiring to the beach and every one told us we would not be able to separate these two as Sam depended on Bear for just about every thing so Bear went to the beach with his sister.

This was hard to do as Bear was our buddy and not only that was more like a child to us. We decided that we couldn't stand the fact of coming home to an empty house even Misty the cat couldn't handle this. We decided that a puppy just wouldn't work because we didn't have the time to train one right. We contacted the kennel where we got Bear and Sam from to find out she was doing Samoyed Rescue. We went to their website found a couple that interested us. We even went to DC to visit one but he had a several aggression problem. Thats when Danielle told us about Benson. Benson was a healthy 1 1/2 year old male that was brought to their group by two ladies that found him Delaware. At the time of his rescue his fur was all matted and he weighed about 40 pounds. It didn't sound so bad until they told us he was deaf. My wife surfed the web about any thing she could find on deaf dogs, one site even said that deaf dogs should be destroyed.

We made arrangements to visit Benson (who we later found out was an alias) we made the two hour trip to southern Maryland were we met Jeanne who had been fostering Robbie, she told us to over look his coat of fur as she had to just about shave him to get the mattes out. She explained that he got along with the other dogs and didn't even mind the cat. This was great as he had to fit into the group back at the house. The dog we meet that day you couldn't even tell that he was deaf he acted just like any other dog his sense of smell and sight seemed to be sharp as a tack what he lacked in hearing was made up for by ever thing else.

That was over three years ago now. Robbie also overcame another obstacle Separation Anxiety with time he use to be crated but no has full roam of the house. This dog never stops amazing us he responds to basic hand signals and even at night if we blink the outside light he comes running back into the house. He gets along well with his adopted brother and sister and yes even Misty the cat.

Never let a disability become a reason to adopt or determine if a pet needs to be put down. Since Robbie has come into our life things have changed in the fact that disabilities will never play into another adoption for us.

I have always wanted a collie, probably from the old Lassie days. I had Lady less then a week, bought from a breeder, when I noticed something wasn't just right. She seemed to know about where her food and water was, but never actually went directly to it. After a visit to my vet, who sent me to a veterinary ophthalmologist, she was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a genetic eye disease, common in collies. So in others words, Lady is completely blind. After a good cry, I knew she was going to live with us. Other than my family, most people thought I was completely crazy to keep her. They couldn't figure out how I could get attached to her in such a short time. I was so afraid the breeder was going to put her down, which is not uncommon, according to my vet.


Being blind since birth has actually been an advantage for Lady. She is a happy one year old, who with a little help from Shadow, our German Shepherd, gets along very well. With supervision, she loves to swim, run in the park, play with our cat - just like any other dog. The hardest thing she had trouble with was climbing down the stairs. To her, this must have seemed like jumping off a mountain into nothingness. The first time she did it, after working with her for months, the whole family clapped.

Most people do not even notice that she is blind, until they get close to her, because her pupils have not grown with her. I think the most important thing you need to raise a blind dog is patience. A simple task, like jumping in and out of a car, takes work, but it is worth the extra effort. She is a lover and has brought many happy hours into our household

If you have any questions regarding Lady and her disability please email.

Thanks to Pets with Disabilities and Dewey's Wheelchairs for Dogs, Harley a 13 year old Basset Hound has a new lease on life. Harley now can continue to roll along happily sniffing the roses or anything else in his pathway. Harley resides with his caretakers in Huntingtown, Maryland.

Scooter's story from his owner.

Scooter was a little stray that wandered to my home. So I'd feed him with the rest of the strays I had and kind of tamed him so I could pick him up and so on. After a few months he had made himself comfortable at my home in my front yard and one day he came up missing. So we looked and looked for him for three days and on the third day someone saw what they thought was the hind end of a cat sticking out from under a trailer home across the street from where I live where they sell trailers to be moved. So my mother got a flashlight to go check it out and saw a cats black tail sticking out from the insulation under the bottom floor of the trailer so she ran and got me. After crawling under the trailer with a flashlight I discovered to my horror that Scooter had gotten his little right leg caught in the netting that holds the insulation under the floor and some wire also. His leg was badly broken and poor little thing he had to be caught there for at least two to three days. I have never seen a cat so happy to see me in my whole life he was purring the whole time I was trying to free him. I got a pair of scissors and carefully cut him out and wrapped him in a blanket and rushed him to the vet. The vet had to amputate his little leg because it was so badly broken. 
So we adopted Scooter and put him in the house. He recovered very quickly and is like a normal cat in every way even though he only has 3 legs now. He even runs and plays like the rest of the cats in the house. I have to admire Scooters will to live and the fact that it doesn't seem to bother him at all that his leg was taken off. So I think that makes Scooter the best three legged cat in the whole world ;) Scooter lives with me now and is very happy, healthy and FAT! He "helps" me with everything I do and never leaves my side. Read more about Scooter.

Jed was a blind, six-month-old, worm infected, male staffy baby left with us to rehome but our vet said Jed was in extreme pain from a disease called Glaucoma and the kindest thing to do was to put Jed to sleep. I tearfully took Jed home to say good bye and decide how and when this would be done. I was sitting with Jed telling him how sorry I was when a friend walked in and said if they take Jed's eyes out would the disease be gone as Jed is already blind anyway! I went straight back to my vet Doctor Peter and said, "Is this so?" Peter said that he had never done it before but removing eyes is a very simple operation so he would ring a Animal Eye Specialist to find out. Jed was operated on successfully and now leads a very happy normal life. He is now 13 months old and is a beautiful red staffy and lives with a family of five and a older female Labrador called Lucy. Jed chases birds, swims at the beach and chases the kids all over the lawn.

Chloe's Story

I was out riding my bike one day, with my chocolate lab, Hannah, and this woman came running out of nowhere screaming for her dog to come back, which was steadily at least five feet ahead of her. The woman finally caught the dog and snatched it up by the nape of the neck, quite roughly. I was upset by the treatment of the dog, and stopped my bike to talk to the lady. Once I focused on the dog more closely, I could see she was missing her front right leg. The woman informed me the dog's name was Tripod. She had come out of a litter of three pups, and she was the only one that was hindered with a birth defect. She had many problems as a puppy, and the former owners were not very concerned with vet care. 

This woman made the comment that she was surprised the dog had lived past the first few weeks of birth. Without her leg, she could not pull herself around well enough to fight the other pups for milk. She almost died of malnutrition. The lady informed me that she and her husband were moving to Chicago, and they would be dumping the dog at the Humane Society, because even though it was somewhat cute as a puppy, she felt it was an ugly adult, and a pain to deal with. She said the dog would never come when called. She then asked me if I wanted another dog!

I was a little shocked that this woman who I had known for less than two minutes would offer me her dog, but after being a volunteer at the Humane Society for two years, I knew I had to find this dog a good home. The whole transaction took a total of three minutes, and I had my third pet. I fully intended on finding this dog a loving home. I already owned two dogs, and adding a third would make quite a full house. But after being around this dog for a day, I knew I could never give her up. She was part of my family as soon as she hopped through the front door. The first order of business was a new name. I felt like calling a three legged dog "Tripod", was like calling someone in a wheelchair "Spokes". It is cruel and mean to choose a name that focuses on a weakness. She had a little hop when she walked, and she could jump quite well, despite the lack of one leg. We tossed around several names, and finally settled on Chloe. It is a sweet name, to fit a sweet dog. The next order of business was getting a vet check. Although the former owners had papers on my Chloe, she had only been to the vet once in her life, as a puppy. When I got her she was about to turn three.

The vet discovered that along with missing one leg, Chloe was also deaf. He said it was probably the result of high fever or infection left untreated. I asked "how could that be?", because she responds when I walk into the room. He said the dog has adapted and learned to use the vibration of voices and steps off the walls and floors.

Chloe will soon be five, and I cannot imagine my life without her. There are many things she cannot do well, like swim, walk on a leash, and balance during a car ride. She more than makes up for it though, with all the love she has brought me. I have 112 pound chocolate lab, and a 14 pound Shih Tzu, and Chloe weighing in at a whopping five pounds is by far my alpha dog. She keeps everybody in line, and on the up and up. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about the journey this little dog had to make to find my loving home!

Mifa and her kitten, Sola, were adopted in November 2001. Mifa and her very young litter had been found in July. Her left hind leg was severely mangled and infected and the woman who took them in did her best to treat it. Eventually Mifa's toes and pad were amputated. This is when I adopted her. However, she was walking on her stump and with no padding between the bone and the skin her wound wouldn't heal. With the advice of my long time vet, I decided to have her leg amputated. That was two months ago. Mifa is now doing very well. Her entire attitude has changed now that she is pain free. What once was a reserved and timid cat is now a cuddler with a purr that shakes the walls. The attached picture shows her in August with a thin face, bandaged leg and scruffy fur. She is now all fattened up with a shiny coat and bright eyes. She and her daughter, have certainly given me something to sing about (do-re-MI-FA-SO-LA-ti-do!)

Our six year old black lab mix, Bandit, was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma tumor in her right front leg in May of 2001. We made the difficult decision to amputate it in order to save her life, and followed with chemotherapy. She adjusted perfectly fine to her new three-legged gait. She still goes swimming almost every day, with no difficulty whatsoever. She has survived with her personality and spirit intact

Sheba is my ten-year-old, quadriplegic German Shepherd. She lost the use of all four legs as a result of the incurable spinal cord disease degenerative myelopathy. When Sheba was first diagnosed in July/August of 1999, I wanted to rule out any other diagnoses that may have caused Sheba's rear leg paralysis. She had an MRI in Sept. of 1999. The MRI revealed a protruding disk in the lower lumbar area of Sheba's back. She had a dorsal laminectomy (removal of the top portion of the disk to enable nerves to pass over it freely). With little improvement, Sheba's condition began to deteriorate rapidly. By December 1999, Sheba had her first cart designed for a paraplegic. With daily exercise, Sheba ran around in this cart for a little over a year. During this time, I also did various alternative medicine treatments on her including acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, magnetic therapy, massage therapy, physical therapy, color light tonations with crystals, infrared light treatments, proper nutrition, vaccine titers, neutriceuticals, herbs, flower essences, homeopathic remedies, glandular supplements, minerals, enzymes, vitamins, etc.

In Feb.2001 I had to order a quadriplegic cart for Sheba, as her front legs had become very weak. My husband and I had to re-design the cart to accommodate Sheba. I cut up my son's wet suit and used it as slings. By May, Sheba could no longer use her cart as she had lost all use of her front legs. My husband and I took her in our swimming pool for the little exercise she could get, but she enjoyed this as long as someone was tossing her football to her. Sheba gets around now by means of a Tylift. This is a great transporter for a large disabled dog. Although she doesn't have much time left, I'm doing everything in my power to keep the quality of her life comfortable and happy. She will let me know when she wants to go to the Bridge. Sheba is such an inspiration to me as she never complains and appreciates everything that I do for her. She is truly an angel from heaven

Sean is a 14-year-old shih tzu that I rescued about 5 years ago. The past six months, Sean has been slowly losing feeling in his rear legs. The vet informed me that he had a nerve problem and it would probably get worse. So, I purchase a $10.00 baby carriage so that Sean could keep up with his other canine companions. But, I knew this was not enough. I sought out to purchase a wheelchair. I rescue dogs from many shelters so my funds were limited. That is when I discovered Pets with Disabilities at a Pet Fashion Show event.

Pets with Disabilities donated a used wheelchair that fit Sean perfectly. Now, Sean has his independence back and I am thrilled. This wheelchair has been donated for the rest of his life! Thanks again, Pets with Disabilities and Dewey's Wheelchairs for Dogs.

Meet Lu Lu, my five-month-old black lab puppy. She is my little angel. She had her front left leg amputated when she was two months old because she was born with a deformed leg. She is a pure bred and the breeder was just going to put her down. Someone rescued her and she was at an injured animal no-kill shelter that I support and where I volunteer.

She is absolutely amazing and gets around everywhere! She is so spoiled and knows it. My cat, Rio, doesn't like dogs, but seems to be fine with Lu Lu, as long as she knows he rules the house!

Everywhere we go people ask about her and what happened. It allows people to see a disabled animal and realize they can do just fine, they just need a loving owner who realizes sometimes they just need a little extra help, love and understanding.

I'd love to find out some information about helping out 3-legged dogs/puppies in the Colorado area. Any ideas? Especially maybe dealing with breeders who would just put them down? If anyone has questions about caring for a 3 legged pup, please email your questions to

Saff came into my life about two years ago. I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was late afternoon, and raining, and my sister and I were sitting at a red light when she grabbed my arm and started to yell that a dog across the intersection broke its legs. Well that's what we thought first, from the way she was sitting. A port authority officer was standing over her as we made our way across the intersection. I remember the look she gave me, it was like a sigh of I want to give up but I know I can't, type of look. As we got closer we saw what a mess she was; emaciated, and ridden with ticks, some of them the size of quarters.

Six months later and 25 pounds heavier and healthy looking, Saff came home with me. Who better than myself? We were like Mutt and Jeff. I met many people that helped out with donations and advice. My friend Karel and Andy told me to get diapers for Saff and cut a slit to slide her tail through, and bam instant doggie diaper. In the two years that I've had Saff as my little one she has been nothing but joy and an inspiration for me. I'm not going to lie and say everyday is perfect, but the good days definitely out way the bad ones. She is an angel in disguise. The way she looks at you as you play, the way she bounces around the house, and the way she looks as she sleeps, have made everything worth it and more to have her home with me. I should be so lucky to have her.

I just want to take the moment to thank everyone, especially Joyce, and Dewey who took the time and effort to talk to me and put together a new and well built chair. This one is way better than the last one we had, and Dewey did it for us at a severely discounted price. You have to see Saff take off in it, she looks so much more comfortable and proud in it. And to the rest, you all know who you are. God bless.

I'd really like to share our story of Kandoo, our little Lethal White Aussie. We do Australian Shepherd Rescue in the Phoenix, AZ area and we were contacted by a wonderful no-kill shelter (Arizona Animal Welfare League) to see if we could help in placing this 4 month old blind/partially deaf Aussie. We never had any experience with impaired Aussies at this point, but certainly wanted to help. We went to see Kandoo (they called him Coty) to take some pictures to place on our website. He was just too cute! My husband, Dave and I came home and couldn't stop talking about Kandoo. We decided that we would "adopt" him and place him in our rescue. He was simply adorable and very independent. We changed his name to Kandoo because we thought he "can do" anything he wants to. We placed him on the webpage, describing his disabilities, dressed him up for Halloween, did our best presentation...but no one was interested...he was impaired. As time went on and we lived with him, we were so amazed at his determination in everything he did. He was housebroken through a doggie door in 2 days, looked to the other 4 Aussies for everything he needed, but never forgot to come by and stop for a minute to get some loving.

Needless to say, we fell totally in love and he soon became a permanent member of the "aussielads". He is a trooper at heart, a devil at will, and the best thing that ever happened to us. He has taught us more than we thought humanly possible. When he's at his "baddest" and I'm at my "maddest", he stops, sits downs, tilts his little head (with that one deformed eye), looks at me and just wants his "loving", which he always gets. We are proud to have him as part of our family. He is the most "creative" Aussie I have ever met, and that's saying a lot!

If you would like to know more about Kandoo, please email

Elmo is a six-year-old Whippet who has been my companion and best friend since I got him as a pup. I have since added two more dogs and a husband to our little pack. Unfortunately, Elmo was diagnosed with cancer in his front left shoulder about six months ago. I was devastated. I couldn't see putting him to sleep since he was still young, playful and happy. His only obvious problem was a bad limp which never went away. We made the decision to amputate, and scraped up the money needed for all the vet bills. I've never regretted that decision. I think I had a harder time accepting the loss of a leg than Elmo did. He was home the day after surgery and was able to take small steps in order to go outside. He had some pain for 2 weeks, especially at night, and couldn't "hop" very far at first. Medication helped with the pain. But after one month he was getting around fine with no pain! After two months he was able to run (fast!). Now, he keeps up with our (four-legged) greyhound and his "pain-in-the-butt" personality I love has never changed. I wanted anyone considering this alternative to know that there is life after cancer! Dogs really do well making the transition.

Just don't call him disabled - since there's not much he can't do. (Lifting a leg on a tree has proved to be the biggest challenge) He prefers "unique!"

If you have questions or comments about Elmo or canine cancer please email

Pierce suffered the lose of his right front leg when he was only nine months old in a freak accident on September 4, 2000. My mother was cutting the grass when the mower blade hit something sharp. The object struck Pierce in the his front leg. The impact was just as if he had been shot by a gun.

My mother heard Pierce's cry. Realizing he had suffered a horrible injury; she called for my father. They pulled towels off of the clothes line to wrap Pierce's leg. They placed Pierce in the back of the pick-up truck. My mother climbed in the back of the truck with Pierce, as my Dad rushed to the vets.

Pierce did lose his leg but thanks to the attentive doctors, his life was saved. We are all very grateful for the kindness and care they showed to Pierce, and to my parents.

Pierce was back at home in just five days. He showed no problem adjusting to his new status as a "tripod". He is doing things now that he never did before the accident. He likes to climb on top of his big dog house and sit. It is a cute site! Our vet indicated that since Pierce was so young when he lost his leg, that he would not remember ever having four legs. This seems to be true. He is a happy, loved and treated like a "King" by everyone in the family.

Thank you, Pets with Disabilities for allowing us to share our story.

Willow was abused by his previous owner when he was five months old. This left him paralyzed and unable to walk. Now however Willow has found a kind family who adopted him.

Willow has a new wheelchair from Pets with Disabilities. This enables him to take walks with his family and play and run like other dogs.

Jughead is an 18 month old Labrador. He is a victim of a hit and run accident, which has left him paralyzed. He was rescued and taken to a Corpus Christi, Texas, Animal Hospital which he now calls home. Jughead is well loved and well taken care of.

Jughead received his new wheelchair from Pets with Disabilities in September 2000

Tiny Tim is a nine week old kitten whose back was broken at one or two weeks. He is determined to enjoy every single minute of his life. He's getting used to his "wheels" a little bit at a time, since he is a very small kitten.

Anyone interested in getting more information on Tiny Tim please email. Tiny Tim is at Brighthaven, a retreat for elderly and disabled animals

Bob Barker is a six-year-old Beagle. I got him as a pup and he would not stop barking at night unless I would talk to him. This was how he got his name. I had to set a radio outside near his cage with an all night preaching show and as long as he heard the voice he would sleep, and so could everyone else. At two and a half years old he started losing his sight and was completely blind at three years old. Many trips to different vets all with the same response, no blood going to the eyes so replacement was not advisable. He gets around the house and back yard very well as he goes by memory, sound and smell. He loves to be with his family as he knows he will be safe. He loves camping in the travel trailer, and riding in a golf cart. When at the beach or in the golf cart at the campground he wears sun glasses and looks real cool.

My four year old girl likes to play with him and he enjoys the attention. I cut grass for a living sometimes as I drive by the house he starts barking as he knows who it is. He sleeps in the house now and is always near me and usually the first thing each morning he will stand up at the bed to make sure I am there. He sticks with me wherever I go, almost like my shadow. We all love him very much.

This is Sarah. Sarah is an eight-month-old Chocolate Labrador. Sarah contacted distemper (a disease that affects the central nervous system) through her birth mother. Her siblings were all destroyed, but Sarah luckily found a family to take care of her. Good luck to Sarah and her family.

Pets with Disabilities provided a donation for Sarah's new wheelchair.

This is Chelsea. She's a 10-year-old Golden mix. She was always a very independent girl, until her illness. She has a disease called Degenerative Myelopathy -- DM for short -- which is similar to Multiple Sclerosis in humans.

She lost the use of her back legs in August 1999, which is when she began using her doggie wheelchair. Unfortunately, she's now losing strength in her front legs because of the progression of the disease. But, she still loves to go for walks in the park in her cart and gets excited when she spots a squirrel, just like old times! People at the park often say they can see her smiling. Before we got the cart, she was very depressed. She continues to decline, but she's taught us a lot about courage and dealing with whatever cards life deals us.

"Stormin" Norman is a longtime resident at the Maui Shelter located in Hawaii. He is four years old. Like Duke, he is paralyzed. Norman has received a new wheelchair.

For more information on "Stormin" Norman please contact the East Maui Animal Refuge, (808) 572-8308, a sanctuary for Maui's injured and orphaned animals. East Maui Animal Refuge is a non-profit organization supported by public donations.

Thank you for supporting DukeWear. Proceeds of DukeWear sales are responsible for "Stormin" Norman's new wheelchair.


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