Petco Love’s Helping Heroes Grant of 2022
We could not be more grateful. This December, for the 8th year, we are proud recipients of a Petco Love Helping Heroes Grant!
We are thrilled to be recognized by @PetcoLove for our work with service animals. The $7,500 investment will help us continue to help animals and people (in Orange County and beyond) live their best lives.
Kasey and Tahoe are our current rescues who are progressing well in their advanced training. They are well on their way to become working service dogs in 2023. #PetcoLovePartner
To show the impact a service animal can make, read Sean’s ‘Love Story’ in his own words.
MacDuff was specially trained for Sean, and they graduated from our Partnership Training program in September 2020.
“Duff, my service dog, is life changing in so many ways. Without him and Cell Dogs I would be in a hospital someplace and dwelling on my chronic pain, and the difficulty of being able to eat or drink anything due to achalasia dysphasia.
I must have a procedure, sometimes every week, just to keep my esophagus open so I can eat, and on top of that I need surgery procedures to allow me to just sit due to many problems from the injuries sustained while I was in the Army. I have been injured since February 6, 1996, and wheelchair-bound for over 20 years. I have had over 50 major surgeries and ended up with necrotizing fasciitis (the flesh-eating virus) twice, and have RSD or CRIPS in both legs, and I am a spinal patient.
No matter what, Duff wakes me up for the first of our 2 or 3 daily walks just before 5am. I could have major surgery, and the next day I hurt at first, but his energy just gets me up and going. We normally go a couple miles on each walk, and he really knows how to keep my mind off whatever I am going through. He knows when I need to rest too, and will turn around and go back home, which is amazing. He is a gentle giant and keeps people from accidentally bumping into me as my legs need to be protected.
I used to stay in the hospital for weeks every couple months but since Duff is with me, I have only stayed overnight once and then I get home care. Duff is always by my side except when I get my procedures because I don’t want him sick. I get dropped off by Duff and my son, I call them “my boys”.
He is amazing in other ways, too. When I drop things, he is always right there ready to pick up anything even a penny. He loves van rides and sticking his head out the window. He loves kids and he does everything on a schedule. We respect his down time when he is in his crate, and practice commands every day, he is always ready to learn something new. He wears his vest when he is out and about but loves lounging and playing at home.
My family and I really think Duff was God sent, so we gave him my father’s birthday because Duff definitely deserves a special day in all of our hearts. I must isolate due to Covid, and my sister has stage 4 cancer, but Duff is truly the light in our lives. He loves and is beloved by all family members, he goes to church and football games with us.
I am so lucky to have Duff, he is more than a service dog, he is family. Mac Duff McGinnis is my best friend.”