By Janice Lane Palko
On October 23, 2016, husband and wife team Charlie and Tanya Diable of Butler adopted a special needs pet, Joey, whose rear legs were intentionally cut off when he was six weeks old and left for dead. The Diables have adopted several needs dogs, but it was Joey’s need to keep moving despite his handicap that spurred the couple to help him and other dogs. Joey, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, now seven, uses a prosthetic to get around.
To help other dogs, on August 26, 2017, Joey’s P.A.W. (P.A.W. stands for Prosthetics and Wheels) was founded. The nonprofit’s mission has two objectives. The first is to provide monetary funds for dogs in need of a wheelchair or prosthetic. “We collect and raise donations and purchase the wheelchair or prosthetic and have it sent to the recipient,” said Tanya. “Our mission is to get dogs up and moving as well as show people the joy of owning a special needs dog.”
“We also have a second underlying message,” said Charlie, “and that is to promote the joy of owning a special needs dog and strive to find them a ‘furever’ home just like Joey did.”
“In December 2017, the Diables adopted Boone, and his rear legs were intentionally cut off at five months by his previous owner who also kicked him so hard he broke his femur head off on his left leg. He had surgery at Ohio State Veterinary Hospital in Ohio to repair it,” said Tanya.
Although he’s had a hard life, Boone is a happy pooch, and he loves bow ties and wears one daily. “He has a book called Bow Tie Boone, which is available to order at any bookstore or through Amazon, and it helps to raise funds for Joey’s P.A.W,” said Tanya. He also has a coloring book, Bow Tie Boone and Friends available through Amazon.
In addition, the organization has partnered with actor and police officer Justin Melnick of CBS’s Seal Team to assist retired military and law enforcement K9s who have been injured or disabled and need a prosthetic or a wheelchair.
On November 9, the Joey’s Santa Paws for a Cause fundraiser will be held at the Pittsburgh Mariott North, Cranberry Twp., with David Highfield of Pittsburgh Today Live as guest MC.
To date, Joey’s P.A.W. has helped 1,550 dogs (and a few other animals). You can learn more about Joey’s P.A.W at their website: www.joeyspaw.org. You can also donate through their website, Facebook page, or at PayPal at: https://www.paypal.me/JoeysPAW. Those wishing to donate by check, can mail them to:
301 Belmont Rd
Butler PA 16001