Three-legged Dogs Enjoy the Sweet Rescue Life


They can run and play just as well as four-legged dogs. And especially love just as much or more. Three-legged dogs have adapted to life as normal, running, jumping and playing just like a dog with four legs.

Four special pups come to Purr’n Pooch for daycare to play with friends or to stay when their parents are away. These dogs hold special places in their parents’ hearts, as well as the staff at Purr’n Pooch who cares for them.

For Naomi, Karma, Lefty and Eddie, life as three-legged dogs has been sweet, thanks to their loving pet parents.

Naomi, a 4-year-old dachshund mix, was rescued by Lilly Lambert from the SPCA in Eatontown, who couldn’t resist her cute face. Lilly, who lives in Tinton Falls, had just lost her dog of 15 years and wasn’t sure if she was ready for another pup. Then she saw Naomi, who has only three legs, and knew it was her destiny to give her a good home.

“I immediately knew she was mine,” said Lilly. “There was just an instant bond with her. There was no adjustment period or getting used to each other period. We fit perfectly from the very beginning.”

For Daniel DeMuro of North Brunswick, it was a life or death situation. His dog Karma, who he rescued while in college, developed bone cancer. He opted to have the leg removed in an effort to save Karma.

“It’s now been over five years and it still baffles vets that Karma beat the odds stacked against him,” said Daniel.

Karma, a mini ridgeback/boxer mix, had a special place in Daniel’s heart before the surgery, and it’s safe to say that love has swelled due to Karma’s incredible resiliency.

“Every day with Karma is special and I realize even more so having almost lost him five years ago,” said Daniel. “It’s wonderful to see him live his life out gracefully, even if only on three legs. In fact, even better on three legs.”

Lefty is another special three-legged pooch who was rescued by Michael Miller and his wife. The two set out to rescue a dog who looked like a miniature version of their own shepherd/pit mix. But when Michael, who lives in Red Bank, noticed Lefty lying in the middle of the floor and laid down with him, it was an instant love.

The now 12-year-old German Shepherd/Akita mix had come to the shelter with his leg attached, but broken. The leg was amputated shortly before the Millers adopted Lefty.

“He had a pretty traumatic event as a puppy, but that hasn’t affected his personality in an adverse way,” said Michael. “He obviously was not treated properly by a previous owner but he still loves humans.”

Justine Keefe of Ocean Township found her three-legged love at Purr’n Pooch, where she works as a groomer. Eddie, formerly known as Romeo, had been rescued from the Dominican Republic by a local vet doing rescue work. Eddie had been hit by a car and his leg had to be amputated. His missing leg would have made it virtually impossible for him to be adopted in the Domincan Republic, so he was brought to New Jersey. Once here, he went through another surgery to remove a broken piece of bone in his hip socket. After several therapy sessions to build strength in his hind leg, Eddie now runs faster than ever before, even outrunning many dogs on the beach.

“What makes Eddie so special is his spirit,” said Justine. “As my neighbor put it, ‘he has every reason to be mad at the world and he isn’t!’ I think he knows he finally hit the jackpot when he came here and he really deserves it.”

Just as much as these spirited pups have had their lives changed by finding compassionate and caring parents, Lilly, Daniel, Michael and Justine are the true lucky ones.

“I feel so happy to have met Eddie,” said Justine. “He gives us so much. He loves us and his big sister, Nellie, and he was a great little brother to Harry, our senior dog who we lost in February. Eddie really compliments our whole family.”

When the Millers look at Lefty they don’t see a dog with special needs. They see a dog with a great personality who is now their family.

“I don’t see it as a big deal since we adopted a dog from a shelter, which is the important part,” said Michael. “He also happens to only have three legs.”

Speaking of personality, Karma is overflowing with it. While often calm and wise, Karma knows how to have a good time.

“Sometimes he can’t keep his joy inside his big personality with lots of energy,” said Daniel. “He lives to give love to others.”

Lilly finds joy in giving love to a dog who needs her.

“She’s so appreciative of the environment I can provide her,” said Lilly. “But she just gets me. She understands my psyche.”

All of these special dogs spend time at Purr’n Pooch, learning to socialize and getting the opportunity to run, jump and play with their pup friends.

Purr’n Pooch has the services and the staff available to care for special needs pets, and the building is adapted to their special needs.

“Living with my own dog Louise, who was an amputee due to cancer, made me understand and realize that animalswith disabilities are not disabled from loving or doing many activities,” said Dick Palazzo, president of Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts.  “Louise gave back in return a love of life that I found unmeasurable to the norm. My passion for Louise and others like her inspired me to develop and build a unique environment at Purr’n Pooch to house and care for all pets, those with special needs, blind, deaf, geriatric, or any pet with a medical misfortune.”

Three-legged pets can live long and healthy lives with minimal adjustment to compensate for their missing limb. If you are interested in adopting a special animal, visit your local animal shelter.

Purr’n Pooch Foundation Awards 2015 Grantees in Animal Rescue and Welfare


A lot goes into running an animal welfare organization or shelter. There are vet expenses, program and administrative costs, staffing expenses and resource needs. So who helps those organizations working so hard to help animals in need?

The Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals has awarded more than $100,000 to non-profit animal rescue and welfare organizations since its founding, ensuring that organizations helping animals in need are getting proper funding and help from outside sources. The Foundation awards annual grants to non-profit, no-kill animal and marine mammal rescue and welfare organizations.

“We are proud of all the hard work that the committee did last year and very thankful for everyone that contributed to make these grants possible,” said Betsy Palazzo, Dudick, President of the Foundation.

The Foundation is thrilled to announce the 10 recipients of its 2015 grants. The grant money is used for day-to-day operations, emergency relief, spay/neuter efforts, veterinary care, equipment, construction, vehicle purchases, educational programs and special projects.

Grants were awarded to All Critters Rescue, Inc., All Fur Love Animal Rescue, Inc., American Rescue Dog Corporation, Animal Care Sanctuary, Cat Assistance Network, Inc., Greyhound Friends of NJ, Mid-Atlantic Bulldog Rescue, New Life Boxer Rescue, Oasis Animal Sanctuary and Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary.

In 2010, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts, Betsy Palazzo-Dudick and Koren Spadavecchia announced the launch of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Purr’n Pooch Foundation. The Foundation honors their parents, Dick and Mary Palazzo, owners of Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts. Dick and Mary have a passion for animals that runs deep, and their love for animals is apparent by looking at their incredible accomplishments with Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts as well as with animal welfare advocacy.

A few of the 2015 grantees are highlighted below:


Millburn, NJ

Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary rescues senior German Shepherds and finds suitable homes and solutions for them. They provide adoption services in New Jersey, Delaware Valley, Manhattan, Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern New York. The organization also works in assisting other German Shepherd rescue organizations throughout the Northeast, and dog rescue organizations in need of assistance and guidance. Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary believes that older dogs teach compassion and hope, and makes it their mission to find older dogs loving homes.

“This grant allows us to continue to work with special need and older dogs that are harder to place and more likely to be euthanized,” said James Dascoli, founder and president of the Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary. “A lot of the time we don’t have a lot of options, and there is more of a cost from a medical perspective. With this grant we can also increase our reach.”


East Smithfield, PA

Animal Care Sanctuary was founded as a non-profit no-kill organization in 1967 in Tom’s River, NJ, and moved to East Smithfield, PA in 1982. The sanctuary celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2012 and is the nation’s fourth largest no-kill sanctuary, welcoming animals that are deemed “unadoptable” due to illness, injury, age, or those that have struggled to find a home. Residents of Animal Care Sanctuary include dogs, cats, horses, pigs, and birds. They work to find these animals permanent homes but offer lifetime care if this is not possible. The Animal Care Sanctuary also offers animal care workshops, dog training courses including a master’s course, grooming, and a low-cost spay/neuter clinic available to the public five days a week

“We’re excited about this grant because it’s going to purchase “banked cages,” which are stainless steel cages on wheels that will go in our isolation unit,” said Joan Smith-Reese, executive director of the Animal Care Sanctuary. “This spring the cages will be in our nursery, so mommas and babies will live in them. We’ll be able to wheel the cages closer to the windows so people can view the kittens, which will help with adoption. These cages are easy to keep clean, and with 400 pets, cleanliness is our middle name.”


Kenilworth, NJ

New Life Boxer Rescue is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the lives of Boxers who are at risk of being neglected, abused or forced to find new homes for reasons out of their control. Their mission is to provide a safe and loving environment in foster care while seeking a new and permanent home for rescues. The organization provides medical care, including spaying and neutering of all Boxers, treatment for heartworm and Lyme disease, required vaccinations and holistic treatments. New Life Boxer Rescue is committed to matching all dogs with a caring and loving forever home

“We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for their generosity in giving us such a lovely grant,” said Dee Moscoso, president and foster coordinator.  “We are a small rescue and we pride ourselves on the fact that we never turn a dog away based on medical need. It is for this reason that grants like this are such a God-send to our rescue. All of our funding comes from donations and adoption fees and all of that money goes to the veterinary care of the dogs. We have very little other expense and so our dogs are well cared for, in whatever area they need that care.”

The Foundation raises funds for their grant work through special events organized for all ages. Past fundraising efforts have included a Canine Classic 5K Run/Walk, U.S. Military Working Dogs Drive, children’s writing and cartoon contest, and Summer Gala. Upcoming Foundation fundraising events include:


April 13, 2016 ~ 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ~ Red Bank, NJ

(Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Learn more and register online>


May 2, 2016 ~ 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ~ Red Bank, NJ

15% of sales with benefit the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals

Learn more and RSVP >


August 17, 2016 ~ The Channel Club ~ Monmouth Beach, NJ

Details to come.

Apply for a Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals grant or to learn more information >