Pearl's act of kindness to take in these fur babies shows how inspired she is by their resilience and courage in life.
Trigger Warning: This article contains themes of abuse that some readers may find distressing.
A lot of us love dogs and try to do something better for them every now and then. Sometimes, we try to feed street dogs or foster a sick puppy once in a while. But none of us can even come close to what Debbie Pearl has done. Often found on the streets around Huntington Beach in California with about five leashes in one hand and pulling a wagon with the other, you'll see this woman surrounded by seven adorable dogs.
But do you know the most peculiar thing about her seven doggo convoys? A closer look will show you that none of them have four legs. All of Pearl's dogs have disabilities and hence, either use wheelchairs or prosthetic limbs. While she is definitely someone who loves dogs, she's done more than just love them. She's always had a few dogs of her own while she was training them for movies. However, she went a step further and created a nonprofit organization for dogs and gave it the most adorable name: Dream Fetchers! The nonprofit's main aim is to rescue dogs from the streets, as well as, from euthanasia.
And what about this pack of seven dogs around Pearl, you wonder? Well, they act as therapy dogs! She calls this pack of seven the "Unstoppable Dogs." This pack presently consists of Zeek, Pop, Speedy, Eddie, Stevie, Elliot and Sydney. According to what she told CBS News, all of them are survivors of abuse. The first member of this pack was Fast Eddie, whom Pearl found about nine years ago. Eddie was no less than love at first sight for her. She says, "Eddie was definitely my inspiration for adopting other disabled dogs. He was so full of life. He never let anything slow him down. I mean, he truly was, what you would say, the word 'unstoppable' encompasses." Just like she'd found Eddie on the streets of California with a spinal injury, she'd found most of the other dogs in the pack like that. Sometimes, people who knew she loved dogs and had the resources to take care of them would also reach out to her, be it shelters or people.
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She said, "After we rescued Eddie, I was contacted about another dog that was in Mexico, because somebody who knew me saw this dog and thought I might be interested." After that, there was no stopping. "From there, they just started coming. People just started reaching out. The word got out that I was a really great home, I love disabled dogs and one after the other started to come," she told the channel with a laugh. Pearl mentioned that she was selective when it came to adopting the dogs because her pack became therapy dogs. The dogs in her pack have all lost a limb or more due to abuse by humans. And yet, they're so immensely resilient and full of life. While most of her dogs have prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs, Elliot and Sydney are just relearning to walk. In fact, Elliot didn't walk for a year of his life and is just starting off again. That's why Pearl takes them out on a wagon.
Every week, she takes her unstoppable pack to hospitals, schools or a nonprofit organization that helps adults with disabilities. The reason being that seeing these therapy dogs with prosthetic legs and wheelchairs being so full of life and so forgiving towards humans despite owing their misery to them is pure beauty. These dogs show the meaning of resilience, forgiveness and love. Like Pearl said, "I look for dogs that have been through traumatic events but that have this amazing gift of forgiveness. And that's a powerful thing for a lot of people, because they can see the courage, the resilience that these dogs have. And all of mine have been through the worst, and they've come out shining." She believes that her dogs are here because they've gotten a second chance at life. For victims of abuse, this can be an empowering thing to see and witness. She fondly said, "Even though they may be in a wheelchair, even though they may be missing a limb, they're making the best of their life."