by Denise Carey
A Central Florida Rescue has taken on the monumental and life saving task of rescuing unwanted, abandoned and dumped special needs dogs. Approximately 800,000 dogs and cats are killed in shelters each year. As animal lovers and advocates, we all hope for a happy ending for these shelter animals; a home and happy life outside the shelter.
In addition to normal, healthy dogs being relinquished, there has been an increase in the number of special needs dogs arriving at the shelters. Sadly, these dogs are the first to be surrendered and the least likely to be rescued or adopted because of the financial burden that comes with them and their ongoing medical needs. They are often the first to be euthanized.
LoveyLoaves Rescue and Sanctuary located in Central Florida is devoted to saving these special needs dogs. They rescue and rehabilitate dogs that are amputees, blind, deaf, medically complex, carted dogs, those suffering from disease, illness, injury, or disorder.
According to founder Cheri Wells, and her husband Ward, they started the rescue in 2010 when their dog Smudge had a cruciate ligament repair which came apart. The only cure was to amputate the leg. After paying thousands of dollars on vet bills, Cheri and Ward came to the realization that not every dog owner cannot afford these types of vet bills no matter how much they love and care for their pets. Smudge has survived and learned to live and work with only three legs. The Wells say he was their inspiration.
So, LoveyLoaves Rescue and Sanctuary was born with the main goal of creating a network to raise awareness and money to care for special needs pets. They get their interesting moniker from the nicknames they give their dogs.
LoveyLoaves is a small rescue so they cannot take on more than 25 dogs at a given time no matter how great the need and the demands. It is because of the many medical cases that need therapy, rehabilitation and specialists as well as the lack of fosters to place the dogs with.
In addition to servicing the Central Florida area, LoveyLoaves rescues world-wide and partners with other organizations to help with transport. They take in owner surrenders, as well as pulling from animal control shelters.
The last week was a remarkably busy one for LoveyLoaves as they took on three new special needs dogs. Emma, Milo, and Major all came home to LoveyLoaves; all three are seniors with extreme medical issues, and all have suffered terribly before being rescued.
Emma (age 15) and Milo (age 13) are a bonded pair of Chihuahuas that were left in an empty house. Their owner moved away and could no longer care for them. He made the right decision by surrendering them to LoveyLoaves. Emma needed immediate, emergency lifesaving dental care that resulted in thirteen extractions, two grafts, and four flaps. Thanks to supporters and donors, Emma got through the surgery and is recovering well.
Major is a blind nine-year-old German Shepherd mix who was wasting away at Miami-Dade Animal Services. In addition to being blind, he was heart-worm positive. Major was brought in as a stray and was suffering physically and emotionally in the shelter environment.
LoveyLoaves teamed up with a group of caring people to get Major out and safely into the rescue. For the first time in a long time. Major went to sleep on a warm soft bed with a full belly. Now, Major needs a foster home. He is described as a 33-pound shepherd mix and is an absolute love.
According to an interview with Cheri Wells for channel thirteen news in their “Everyday Heroes” segment, she talked about the many joys and challenges that come with being a rescue dedicated to special needs pets.
I think anytime you’re talking about a special needs — whether it’s blind, deaf, neurological disorders or amputees — you know, we see all of that on a daily basis. But of course, it takes somebody who is more patient and a little more caring just to provide that care.”
Some dogs can be adopted out, but it takes a long time to find their special home. So, we will be that special home until the right family comes along,
Although LoveyLoaves Rescue and Sanctuary is based in Central Florida, the long-term plan is to raise $500,000.00 to build a medical sanctuary in South Carolina to house up to 100 dogs.
It will be a haven for “specially-abled” dogs. It will be a place where dogs with special circumstances can receive rehabilitation, physical therapy, love and possibly be re-homed, fostered, or peacefully live out the rest of their days.
Sadly, we live in an era and a society where the weak, the elderly and the handicapped are looked upon as useless and disposable but according to Cheri Wells and her husband:
Dogs adapt quickly, and there’s proof of that. Their quality of life is still there. They’re still happy and healthy and completely adoptable.”
It is our mission and calling to alleviate their suffering by providing the best veterinary care possible, warm beds, love and compassion for each and every dog entering LoveyLoaves Rescue.
To learn more about LoveyLoaves Rescue and Sanctuary or to donate, foster or open your home to Major or any of the other dogs visit their website www.LoveyLoaves.org
Or their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LoveyLoavesInc/
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
*This story was originally published in Pet Rescue Report.