As the non-profit wing of Life’s Abundance, the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation takes pride in the diligent and committed work of all of its grant recipients. Every month, we’re reminded that wherever caring people come together in the spirit of hope, and apply hard work, amazing things can be achieved.
This month, it gives us great pleasure to bring you the story of Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue, which represents the pure spirit of small rescue ventures. In operation since 2011, the founders of Spotted Dog embody the drive to make a positive difference in the world. The non-profit is comprised of a group of volunteers, all of whom are committed to the mission of saving and improving the lives of hearing-impaired Dalmatians. By educating people about the consequences of negative stereotypes regarding deaf Dals, they’re hopeful they can make significant inroads in the acceptance of all dogs with disabilities.
That deaf dogs are aggressive and untrainable is a myth perpetuated by some for many years. Even in their short time, Spotted Dog has already witnessed a change in thinking among some breeders. It would appear that few are immune to the heartwarming message that also serves as their credo: "Deaf dogs hear with their hearts, not their ears".
With a background in both dog training and evaluation on behalf of the AKC and Therapy Dogs International, Spotted Dog founder Ariel O’Brien knows dogs. She knows that, even if one of their five senses is underdeveloped, it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of love. O’Brien is leading a crusade on behalf of hearing-impaired Dalmatians. She believes that life should be cherished and that puppies, regardless of ability, deserve the chance to live long and fulfilling lives. Life is challenging enough without having the deck stacked against you.
As O’Brien has seen time and time again, not only can these Dalmatians lead normal, healthy and happy lives, they readily take to therapy training and can enrich the lives of people through service. In fact, one of Spotted Dog’s Dals recently went on to become the permanent live-in companion for a 7-1/2-year-old boy with Down’s syndrome.
At present, they do not have a dedicated facility, relying instead upon a network of foster parents. Thus far, they have expanded their reach into Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. So strongly do they support their foster families, they go the extra mile and provide funds to cover veterinary expenses. Additionally, Spotted Dog trains all of their rescued pups prior to adoption by their forever families. They are continuously hunting for new volunteers interested in helping with the cause.
Spotted Dog actively supports a statewide Therapy and Humane Education Program, stemming from the belief that proper training, knowledge and activity are all key components of creating a great home for Dalmatians, especially those with hearing deficits. Their volunteers assist in training and resolving behavioral issues, as oftentimes one-on-one counseling can mean the difference between a deaf Dal remaining at home and being sent away to a shelter.
Spotted Dog’s leaders actively seek out new ways to enhance the lives of their wards. Just recently, they were able to negotiate a one-year pass to a private dog park for all of their rescues. For the next twelve months, their pups will enjoy acres of land for cavorting and a swimming pool to cool off afterwards, all at no charge!
Posted in a statement on their homepage, O’Brien thanked both Life’s Abundance and our Foundation for the $2,000 grant “to help with veterinarian bills and other necessities Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue needs to continue to help our deaf Dalmatians.” In addition to purchasing much-needed maintenance medications for all their dogs, they were also able to rescue a 10-month-old pup named Bandit and pay for his veterinary care. Simply put, Bandit is now in heaven. His companions are five female Dals (although one in particular, Brande, seems to like him just as much as he likes her), and they run and play to their hearts’ content. In Bandit’s progress report, O’Brien gushed with praise for our grant, saying, “We are so grateful to the Dr. Jane's Foundation for their help.”
Bandit at his new foster home
We’d like to convey our heartfelt thanks to all of our readers and customers who, through their personal donations and continued business, makes this and every grant possible. Each one of you has directly helped Spotted Dog to continue its vital work to make the world a better place for a fortunate few hearing-impaired Dalmatians.
Remember, every time you order from Life’s Abundance, a portion of the profits goes directly to our foundation. If you would like to make an additional contribution to help ensure that deserving rescues like Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue continue to receive much-needed financial support, please call us toll-free at 877-387-4564 … an agent will be happy to take your donation. Any amount helps, more than you can imagine.
Check back next month for another dose of good news from our charitable foundation!