Their lives have gone to the dogs.
But Tanya and Charlie Diable of Butler Township are fine with that.
The couple has adopted six special needs dogs: Joey, Zoey, Temperance, Kingston, Harper and Boone.
“They are our babies. We see the dog, not their disabilities,” Tanya Diable said.
“Charlie and I have a heart for dogs that have been literally starved, abused, beaten, thrown away and for breeders wanting to kill them because they are unable to make a profit from them.”
The Diables created Joey’s P.A.W. (which stands for prosthetics and wheels) in August 2017, inspired by Joey, their beloved dog that had both rear legs intentionally severed at six weeks of age. Joey received prosthetics and life-saving medical care, donated by Merrick Pet Care. The gesture prompted the Diables to help other dogs in need.
Their organization provides money for dogs in need of custom prosthetics and wheelchairs. Its mission is to get dogs up and moving and show people the joy of owning a special needs dog, Tanya Diable said.
“I wasn’t allowed to have a dog as a child,” she said. “My parents made me have a cat.”
Joey’s P.A.W. recently celebrated a year of service, with more than 79 dogs and a goat named Hopie outfitted with prostethics and wheelchairs. Dogs from as fas as Australia have received help.
Tanya Diable stressed her supportive husband and a team of about ten volunteers have been key to running Joey’s P.A.W.
Charlie Diable said their priorities have shifted with the growth of the nonprofit.
“What moves me is seeing the dogs (and one goat) walk, run and play. To see the life come back into their eyes and to help them feel the love that Joey and Boone (our dogs) feel has dramatically changed our priorities and what we deem important,” he said.
The majority of dogs receiving assistance require wheelchairs offering front, rear or full supply, followed by a demand for prosthetics. The Diables help special needs dogs get what they call “fur-ever” homes by facilitating adoptions across the United States.
“I never had to turn anyone down, although now we do have a small waiting list,” Tanya Diable said.
Custom made animal wheelchairs and prosthetics range in price from $300 to $1,200, depending on each dog’s needs.
“We rely on donations through fundraisers and last year we raised more than $18,000,” she said. “People can donate online and we cannot help those dogs in need without donations.”
Tanya Diable’s daily routine (Joey’s P.A.W. is her primary job and passion) includes scrolling social media sites—searching for dogs in need.
“At this point, most of my helping dogs come through those people who reach out to me through Facebook, Instagram or our website,” she said. “Joey’s P.A.W. has radically changed my life.”
Dog owners usually receive their mobility device two to three weeks after submitting their request.
“I received a wheelchair thanks to Joey’s P.A.W. for our dog Winchester in less than a week, ” said pup parent Colleen Faust of Saxonburg. “Tonya is just fantastic and she comes from a place where she understands because she has dogs with disabilities and knows where pet parents are coming from. She gives and gives to make these animals have better lives.”
Winchester, a 10-year old rough collie, weighs 80 pounds and was born with hip displaysia and suffers from arthritis. He was housebound and required human help to go outside and was missing out on walks and outdoor fun with his canine brother Micah. Winchester received and tested his wheelchair out this week to great success.
“Winchester loves to catch balls and Frisbees and he couldn’t do that anymore, but now he can with his wheelchair,” Faust said. “He went on a nice walk this week with Micah and I was crying to see him happy again. I thought his life was over and for him to gain his independence and quality of life back—I am so grateful.”
Boone, a year-old hound beagle mix, had both rear legs intentionally and brutally cut off and was severely beaten by his owner at five months old. His owner left him at a Texas shelter, scheduled him for euthanasia but Tanya Diable found Boone online —immediately offering to foster him.
Read More at TribLive