“Because dogs and cats with physical disabilities needed a voice,” responds founder Joyce Darrell when I ask her why the nonprofit organization Pets With Disabilities was created. (She and her husband Mike founded it in 2000.)
Well said. There needs to be more support for animals with disabilities, and Dogster applauds those doing just that. PWD provides humane sheltering and specialized vetting for those pets in need.
PWD’s Important Work
“We also provide invaluable support, resources and education for families whose pet has become disabled or those who are thinking about adding a pet with a disability to their family,” she says. “Pets With Disabilities is a bridge to a better life and forever home. If a forever home can’t be found, PWD becomes their safe haven and family.”
Joyce and Mike were inspired after adopting their pup, Duke, who then suffered a spinal cord injury and learned to live a vibrant life in a wheelchair. They now help a lot of dogs live their full potential in wheelchairs. Joyce recommends getting your dog a wheelchair if you see his mobility weakening or he has some sort of spinal injury. “There are many wheelchair companies; most are very good and will instruct people on how to use them.”
What’s Next for PWD?
PWD continues to be a work in progress, she says, and a senior home was added this year. “It would be wonderful to find some of our longtimers homes,” she adds as a goal for the future. And, the most important thing she believes Dogster readers should know about pets with disabilities? “Their spirit is not broken, and they need a home like any other pet.” Follow PWD at petswithdisabilities.org, Facebook @petswithdisabilties, Instagram @pets_with_disabilities_rescue.
Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!