CLEVELAND — A local couple is spending their retirement tirelessly working to save special needs dogs.
Pat Holcomb said, it started with older dogs, but now they foster, rehabilitate and have adopted several dogs.
Some were paralyzed from injuries, and others were born with birth defects, dumped and left for dead.
But now, all are thriving under the care of Pat and her boyfriend John Shoemaker.
“They’re very resilient,” said Pat, “They don’t know there’s anything wrong with them.”
Some of the dogs use special carts with wheels to get around and most of them wear “underpants” or “belly bands” to prevent accidents, but Pat said it’s not as hard or messy as some might think.
“Oh it’s very manageable,” said Pat, “It only takes an extra fifteen minutes a day.”
Pat and John are volunteers with the 501C3 non-profit Sophia’s Grace Foundation and work mainly with Dachshunds, Corgi’s and Beagles, but really they’ll do their best to help any dog.
Pat said a spike in irresponsible breeders has led to a spike in dogs with special needs and many are just left to die or abandoned at a shelter.
“Yea there’s a big need, in fact there are dogs waiting to come here,” said Pat.
One of their dogs Ruby, a skiing dachshund, and another dog named Roo, a Chihuahua born without arms is even in the running to become Worlds Most Amazing Dog and was featured on FOX 8 showing off his talents by teaching himself to walk up stairs on two legs.
Pat hopes people will see their dogs and realize these pups are full of love and capable of living a fulfilling, long life with the right family.
“They’re normal dogs…they’re just like having lil’ kids that are happy all the time, they’re just they’re just great!!”