Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Tanya Diable, a kind soul who helps severely abused dogs. Her organization Joey's P.A.W. was founded after adopting a 6 week pup rescued from the side of the road with both rear legs cut off. Unfortunately this type of abuse is common due to the light laws against animal abuse. Joey's P.A.W. helps to get these dogs their life back by providing partial/full funds for a prosthetic or a wheelchair. Their website also includes an adoptable section for special needs dogs that are in need of a FURever home.
Here are Tanya's insights on these special dogs:
C+P: What are some of your biggest challenges with caring for some of these dogs?
Tanya: Having a special need dog is really no different than having a regular dog. You allow in your schedule more time to put on the prosthetic or wheelchair. You allow time to help them go the bathroom if necessary, it just becomes a new normal routine. For us having experienced all of the above it really is just about time management. We don’t look at special needs dogs as a challenge, we see the dog as the fun, playful dog that they are…they just need some help. When we first got our first special needs dog we were nervous but upon doing research there is a lot of resources that help you make owning a special needs dog doable.
C+P: What are some of the goals of the organization for the next year?
Tanya: We are hoping to help out as many dogs as we can get up and moving and enjoying life again. That is truly our mission at Joeys P.A.W.
C+P: Can you share one story that brings you joy to be doing this?
Tanya: I cannot narrow down one story that brings me joy because it honestly is every single one of them. When you read or talk to the rescue, shelter or individual and they are so happy, grateful or in tears that the dog that they are trying to help out will finally be able to get up and moving and enjoying life again. A wheelchair can literally change a dog's life. It can give back their spirit and personality. It is amazing to see them shine again. That is pure JOY!!!
C+P: What is the best ways to help your organization help others?
Tanya: The best way to help us help others is honestly donations. We do not produce the wheelchairs we just order them and money is the only way to make that happen.
C+P: How much does it cost to provide wheels or prosthetics to a dog that may need it?
Custom Wheelchair can cost up to $1,200 and prosthetics can cost up to $1500 (per prosthetic).
C+P: I know you launched Joey's P.A.W. late last year. How many dogs have you helped within that time?
Tanya: We have helped 27 dogs get wheelchairs. Most recently, we purchased our first prosthetic for Charlie. He was found at 2 weeks old in a ditch with a missing foot (birth defect ) and TLC Pet Rescue In Stockbridge Georgia stepped up and took him in. His Mom Tonia has been taking care of him since they rescued him.
C+P: What do you want others to know about disabled dogs?
Tanya: They are regular dogs with the same needs as a normal dog except add a prosthetic or a wheelchair to the mix. A disabled dog gives kisses, plays fetch, tugs and chews toys just like a normal dog. They have the same wants and needs as a normal dog…LOVE. They want attention, love and treats. Trust me when I tell you the amount of love they give in return is just overwhelming!!
Thank you for reading our article on Joey's P.A.W. To learn more about Joey's PAWS and see how you can help please go to https://www.joeyspaw.org
A lot has to be done with the laws that protect animals. Here are a couple of organizations working towards changing laws to protect animals.
Interview Conducted: by Anabell Ciuffardi and Rebecca Ferreira