Disabled Rescued Dogs Pay It Forward As Therapy Dogs

A non-profit rescue agency in Southern California has a unique niche program which focuses on saving disabled dogs from open-intake animal shelters and transforming them into certified therapy dogs. Dharma Rescue’s DAWGS (Disabled Animals Who Generously Serve) program allows disabled rescued dogs, who complete specialized training, to visit schools and senior facilities and spread a bit of joy and comfort.

Susan Fulcher, the rescue organization’s founder, explained to People Pets how the therapy work is beneficial to the rescued dogs:

Taking these dogs where their past is just the worst, in situation where they would die without this, and they come into this new world and new life, where they are loved and groomed and get to go out … It’s just in their eyes when they look at you, like they didn’t know that this is what life could be like.

Rescued dogs who are fortunate enough to join this amazing organization are truly given a new ‘leash’ on life.  According to CBS News, disabled pups taken in by Dharma’s Rescue are each fitted with a custom wheelchair – their new “wheels” allow them to finally be able to maneuver through life with ease. The Dharma Rescue dogs are showing the world, one person at a time, that they are more than a disability – they are loving, smart and happy dogs who are perfectly capable of enjoying their life. A student who was able to visit with the rescued (turned certified therapy) dogs summed up the beauty of these deserving animals, and their opportunity to ‘paw’ it forward thanks to the DAWGS program:

“It is terrific and magnificent that they have a purpose in life, after they are hurt. They get the love but they actually deserve it”

Support the DAWGS Program at this link.

Dharma Rescue website here.

Interested in adopting one of the Dharma Rescue dogs? Click here to learn more.

(Images screenshots via CBS News)


Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at Examiner.com for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.