Meet The Unstoppable Dogs—a pack of seven disabled therapy dogs who bring smiles to thousands. These four-legged friends named Peedy, Zeek, Eddie, Pop, Elliot, Stevie, Rudy, and Sydney beat incredible odds to survive injury or abuse and now rely on prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs. But they don’t let their circumstances keep them down, and they inspire others to embrace that same spirit.
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Debbie Pearl is the human behind the pack. While talking to CBS News, she explained that she slowly fell into this program after launching a nonprofit called “Dream Fetchers,” which saves homeless dogs from euthanasia.
In 2014, her organization found Eddie. Despite being abandoned in the street with a spinal injury, he had a sweet and resilient nature that Debbie couldn’t help but admire. She quickly fell in love with him, so she personally adopted him.
“Eddie was definitely my inspiration for adopting other disabled dogs. He was so full of life. He never let anything slow him down. I mean, he truly was, what you would say, the word ‘unstoppable’ encompasses,” she explained.
Because handicapped dogs are typically hard to rehome, shelters had been making it a point to call Dream Fetchers whenever one would come through their doors. After Debbie became Eddie’s official mom, they reached out more often. As Eddie was settling into his new life, someone called Debbie about a disabled dog in Mexico, and she took him in. The crew grew from there.
Each Unstoppable Dog Becomes a Licensed Therapy Animal
Unfortunately, Debbie can’t take in every pooch she falls in love with. To become a member of the Unstoppable Dogs, they need to be able to earn a therapy license, which isn’t easy, especially for dogs who have experienced abuse.
“I look for dogs that have been through traumatic events, but that have this amazing gift of forgiveness,” Debbie noted. “And that’s a powerful thing for a lot of people because they can see the courage, the resilience that these dogs have. And all of mine have been through the worst – and they’ve come out shining.”
Debbie takes her energetic bunch out for their therapy sessions about once a week. Sometimes they go to hospitals, and other times they go to schools. Debbie also partners with the Easter Seals, which is a nonprofit that works with disabled adults. Her dogs often brighten the days of people within that organization because the animals have a unique way of inspiring those who are struggling with similar problems.
“Even though they may be in a wheelchair, even though they may be missing a limb, they’re making the best of their life. Even despite what has happened,” she shared. “So they just go on living. And they live their life to the fullest.”
“And I think that says a lot that hopefully others can take from that because it doesn’t matter maybe what has happened to you in the past or what you’re dealing with at this moment. Live,” continued Debbie. “Because you can live a great life and be happy.”
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