All dogs deserve a loving home and the ability to run and play. While finding forever homes for shelter dogs is challenging enough, dogs with mobility issues are even more difficult to place. That is why a couple started a charity to provide free or low-cost wheelchairs to shelter dogs.
John and Noel Lizotte started Rescued Rollers with the hope of helping dogs with mobility problems move free again and find forever homes. Their journey led them to Rex, a dog that was found barely alive in a field. He was unable to use his bag legs, likely due to trauma.
He had been dragging himself around for who knows how long, but he was about to get a new set of wheels. The couple created a wheelchair for him and witnessed him being able to move freely again. However, that is not where the story ends. Rex instantly fell in love with the couple and tried to climb into their truck, so the couple decided to take him home to join their pack of dogs.
Aside from their beloved Rex and Ranger, their Border Collie with custom wheels, the couple has helped over 300 dogs and there is currently a waiting list for wheelchairs. The small non-profit provides the wheelchairs to shelters for free and relies on donations of old carts.
They charge a small fee to individuals who are in need of carts and are able to purchase new ones. They take old carts that were donated and adjust them to fit a dog in need.
One of the most recent recipients of a custom wheelchair was Sabine. Rescued Rollers posted, “This is 10 year old SABINE. She’s an ex-military dog who has been suffering from DM for about a year now. She’s also about to get mobile! We’re FedEx’ing her out a wheelchair so she can go back to her favorite hobby, playing catch!”
John told The Columbus Dispatch, “These dogs are different, not less. If my son was paralyzed and used a wheelchair, I wouldn’t just give up on him. These dogs deserve the same respect as humans.”
While they want to help as many dogs as possible, they ask people that can afford a new and custom wheelchair to please buy from a manufacturer. “We are a last resort for those dogs and their shelters/rescues/families that have no other way to obtain a wheelchair. Please respect this.”
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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