Florida rescue is healing hearts and bodies of ‘specially-abled’ dogs

Adele, 11YO, arrived so emaciated that her eyes were sunken in. She is a sweet, loving girl that experiences diabetes insipitus, which can be controlled with medication. She is living a happy, healthy life and is available for adoption
Adele, 11YO, arrived so emaciated that her eyes were sunken in.  She is a sweet loving girl, taking meds for diabetes, and is available to adopt!

Animals take life as it comes, meeting each challenge with a brave face.  To ordinary humans, sometimes those challenges may seem insurmountable. And then you have people like Cheri Wells, an extraordinary human, who takes physically challenged dogs under her wings at LoveyLoaves Rescue & Sanctuary, in Central Florida, and helps them get back on their paws.

 

When they come to her, these dogs may have been living with debilitating injuries for weeks, months, even years.  Even something so simple as going for a walk may have been an overwhelming obstacle for that animal. Sometimes the injury is from a recent accident, a fall off a couch or being hit by a car.  Other dogs may have developed spinal column issues. Strokes, paralysis, the list of the conditions they have when arriving at the Rescue is endless.

Molly is paralyzed due to a shattered T-11and is not a candidate for rehabilitation. She lives a happy and healthy life. She uses a cart as her mobility. She is available for adoption.
Molly is paralyzed due to a shattered T-11.  She uses a cart as her mobility, and is very happy. She is available for adoption.

 

One of their dogs you may recognize from Facebook posts.  Her name is Molly.  She’s a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel who was surrendered by her owners to Miami Dade Animal Services.  What made this story so tragic, and caught the eye of animal advocates everywhere, was that Molly’s family took her cart away from her when she was surrendered to the shelter!

Molly is one of many dogs Ms. Wells and her husband, Ward, have assisted and taken in over several years.  According to their Facebook page,

 

“Amputees, blind/deaf, medically complex, carted dogs, those suffering from disease, illness, injury, or disorder…all find solace and safety within the rescue.”

 

Hunny , a 6YO doxie. with IVDD. She was surrendered by her owners family when her mommy passed away. Hunny has experienced IVDD for many years and was not a candidate for rehabilitation. She lives a happy, healthy life and uses a cart as her mobility. Hunny is available for adoption!
Hunny , a 6YO doxie has experienced IVDD for many years and was not a candidate for rehabilitation. She lives a happy, healthy life and uses a cart as her mobility. Hunny is available for adoption!

When the dogs are rehabilitated, find new homes and exit through the doors of the Rescue, they may be leaving on four paws, three, two or rolling out on a spiffy assistance cart.  But their desire to feel safe and loved is equal, no matter how many of their feet are touching the ground.

 

Ms. Wells, as Founder and Executive Chairman of LoveyLoaves, a 501(c)(3), is devoted to these “specially-abled” dogs, some of whom come to her as strays, some from shelters, others as owner surrenders.  The chance that any of them would have had successful outcomes at a shelter is very slim. Shelters simply don’t have the resources to assist in special cases like these, so they will reach out to rescues. Because LoveyLoaves exists, and because there are donors willing to help shoulder some of the rehab expenses, these dogs get their second chance for a second life.

Peanut is a GORGEOUS 4YO pit mix. She had a severe skin condition and also has a rear leg and hip congenital deformity. She has completed her rehabilitation and lives a happy, healthy life. Peanut is available for adoption.
Peanut is a GORGEOUS 4YO pit mix.  She has completed her rehabilitation and lives a happy, healthy life. Peanut is available for adoption.

Since their inception in 2011, they have adopted out many ‘wheelie’ dogs into loving homes.  Currently there are eight ‘wheelies’ within the rescue; three are available for adoption.  Some of the wheelies Cheri simply couldn’t give up, and they have become part of her sanctuary family.  All of the dogs pictured in this story are with LoveyLoaves, and are available for adoption.  Check them out here! Here’s Sassy’s video to see how the ‘wheelie’ program succeeds!

 

Ms. Wells tells Shelter Me that there are “no special requirements to adopt except to a have a big heart, the patience to hold them dear until the end of their days and the willingness to learn how to care for them properly. These special homes are out there….it’s just in the timing for the dog and the family!”

Scooter is a handsome 8YO doxy/basset mix. He came with a back injury. He has completed his rehabilitation and has regained 40% mobility, however uses his cart to keep him mobile. Scooter is available for adoption!
Scooter is a handsome 8YO doxy/basset mix. He has completed his rehabilitation and has regained 40% mobility, however uses his cart to keep him mobile. Scooter is available for adoption!

 

Helping special needs dogs who come directly into their rescue is just one of the ways they help pets in their community.  In March of 2016, they partnered with Orange County Animal Services, in Orlando, to help increase the adoptability of heartworm positive dogs in that shelter.  Many wonderful shelter dogs are overlooked because of the costs involved in treating heartworm; treatment costs can range between $300 and $600, and higher.  One in ten dogs who come into OCAS test positive for heartworm.  Left untreated, heartworm will kill a dog.

 

When Cheri met Hubert at OCAS, he couldn’t even get up off the floor and it broke her heart! After surgery and anti-inflammatories he is living life to the fullest in his foster home. Hubert is available for adoption!
When Cheri met Hubert at OCAS, he couldn’t even get up off the floor and it broke her heart! Now he is living life to the fullest and is available for adoption!

The program they designed, called Healing Hearts, offers adopters and rescues the opportunity to take in a pre-screened dog and have the cost of their heartworm treatment fully covered by LoveyLoaves. The OCAS dogs who have been chosen for the program are designated as such on their OCnetpets web page, which is available here.

 

Monty is a stunning 9YO Pom. Likely used for breeding by a hoarder, he was in rough shape, with a severe skin condition and was in need of an eye removal. He has completed his treatment plan and is ready for his quiet forever home! He is for adoption!
Monty is a stunning 9YO Pom.  He has completed his treatment plan and is ready for a quiet forever home!

There are guidelines for the program, which are available here. You’ll see that Healing Hearts can be implemented by any well-functioning shelter.  The program has a 75% success rate with OCAS, proving that, if managed correctly, it can be very successful in saving an animal’s life.  However, it does take a commitment on the part of the adopter to follow through on their promise to that animal.  The same promise that everyone should make, and keep, when they take an animal into their home.  To give that animal the best possible life they can, for its entire lifetime.

If you’d like to learn more about LoveyLoaves, or would like to help them build a permanent 17-acre sanctuary to take in more of these ‘specially-abled’ dogs, which is their dream goal, please click here.   To see their adoptables, please click here!  Think Pawsitive!

 

 

 

Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the ShelterMe.tv family!

1 comment

  1. Pamela Kramer says:

    Wonderful story!

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