Local animal rescue helps dogs with special needs find homes

PITTSBURGH — A local animal rescue has helped 3,000 dogs and cats find their forever homes. A couple hundred of them have special health circumstances that might have otherwise gotten them overlooked.

But not now, thanks to Dolly’s Dogs.

The rescue’s namesake is a cute little spaniel mix who was hit by a car when she lived in South Carolina. She was brought here to Pittsburgh to recover and ended up in Diane Raible’s home, where she planned to foster her for just a few days.

“Within two hours I knew she would never leave me,” said Raible, vice president of Paws Across Pittsburgh. “I fell in love with her.”

Diane saw a need for fostering and placing injured or disabled dogs, so she started the Dolly’s Dogs program within the Paws Across Pittsburgh animal rescue. Many of the dogs they take are at risk of being euthanized.

Nika found her way to Raible after being thrown in a dumpster. She had to have her back legs and tail amputated. It is just amazing to see her get around on her front two legs and to think about what she’s overcome.

“They told me to keep her still for 10 days (after surgery). Twenty-four hours later, she was walking across my floor,” said Raible.

Manny is one of Raible’s newest adoptions. He has a cleft lip and is missing an eye, but he is as fun and spunky as can be, as is evident by the kiss he gave our WPXI camera.

Max is the youngest and one of Raible’s current fosters. He’s only nine weeks old and he’s not using his back legs anymore. He’s having neurological tests done to see what is going on.

Izzy is available for adoption. She is missing some bones in her back, so she can’t use her back legs, but she’s a sweet girl who would love a forever home.

Here is adoption information about Paws Across Pittsburgh: https://www.pawsacrosspittsburgh.com/

The love these injured or disabled pups provide has helped to place 200 of them.

“I think sometimes people go, ‘Oh, I could never do that,’” said Raible. “Well, it’s not much different than taking care of my regular dogs. They like to go out in the yard and play; they play with toys, they argue, they wrestle and they like to go for walks.”

There is an added medical cost with them, which is why Paws Across Pittsburgh is raffling off these baskets in their 12 Days of Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 11 to raise money. Click here for information about the virtual event: https://www.facebook.com/events/3003951896522672?ref=newsfeed.

Many of the dogs recover from their injuries or learn to live happily with them.

“I think they can really inspire people and help people to overcome their personal injuries,” said Raible.