They’ve miraculously survived abuse and neglect, and have made it their mission to leave a trail of inspiration everywhere they go.
Their wheelchairs, prosthetics and missing limbs paint a picture of a horrific past but these five bigger than life personalities remind everyone that they can play, and love like the rest of them.
Meet the Unstoppable Dogs.
Eddie was abused and abandoned and left paralyzed to fend for himself. He was found and rescued in the streets of Southern California dragging his broken legs with him wherever he went. He became the first Unstoppable Dog.
Zeeky was found on a remote part of the Caribbean, his back legs and tail had been maimed. Somehow he survived and became a story told by locals about a dog without legs on an island. After taking him to the vet, it was discovered that the pup was only 8 months and extremely underweight and suffering from an extreme case of tick disease and scabies.
Speedy was intentionally run over in Mexico. He flung 14 feet into the air, over a bridge and landed in the waters of a nearby ravine. The abuse that Speedy suffered left lasting physical effects on him that required him to use a wheelchair and diapers.
Pop was born and rescued in Mexico. He suffered an untreatable spinal fracture from the abuse and was left with the inability to use his back legs and suffers from incontinence.
Bunnypop is a French Bulldog, she is a product of overbreeding that resulted with her being born with a congenital defect that affected her ability to walk on her paws. Bunnypop wears two prosthetics on her front paws that give her the support and stability to be able to walk normally.
Through the care, love and selflessness of their rescuer, The Unstoppable Dogs demonstrate that their disability can’t slow them down.
Debbie Pearl is the rescuer and owner of all five Unstoppable Dogs. She’s always had a love for animals. “Growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian, I wanted to help animals.” she says.
Instead, with the help of her rescue dogs she has numerous programs through her organization, Dream Fetchers, that not only help dogs but people as well.
Pearl is the founder and president of Dream Fetchers, a non-profit organization based in Huntington Beach dedicated to saving dogs from euthanasia by giving them a “new leash on life” where they are a viable contribution to the social, emotional, physical, or educational well-being of humans.
Together, Pearl and her dogs travel the country to provide pet assisted therapy and inspire disabled people, chronically ill children and veterans.
This past St. Patrick’s Day Debbie Pearl and the Unstoppables traveled to Easterseals Southern California in Brea, California in her black Volkswagen Bug to meet with disabled seniors.
A flier of The Unstoppables had been posted by the entrance reads, “Survivors and heroes, who are changing the lives of everyone they meet!”
After half an hour of wheelchair assembling and diaper changing, Pearl walks into the senior center with 4 leashes in her hands and the dogs ahead of her.
“My name is Debbie Pearl. I am the founder of the organization Dream Fetcher. These dogs are known as The Unstoppables and they are the ambassadors of the organization.” she says as the dogs sit patiently at her side.
“They bring hope and joy” One of the dogs, Speedy interrupts Pearl with a joyful bark, the participants giggle.
“Yes, that’s right, you all do” Pearl continues. “And they are teaching everyone that it doesn’t matter what kind of disability you have, there are no boundaries and you are not defined by your disability.”
In fact, The Unstoppables inspire nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram and about 30,000 followers on TikTok, garnering millions of views on their videos, most of them at the beach, their “happy place” according to an Instagram post.
“People reach out to me from all over the world and they explain how our videos have brightened up their day. Our goal is to make a difference and let people see that it doesn’t matter what’s happened to you, you can go on and these dogs prove that. They are living their best lives, in their wheelchairs.” Says Pearl while carrying Eddie.
Easterseals Southern California provides essential services and on-the-ground support to more than 15,000 people each year.
One of these services is Senior Day Services, according to their website “People using this service receive supervision, increased social opportunities and assistance with personal care or other daily living activities.”
Kathleen Kolenda is the Regional Vice President of Easterseals Southern California. She has dedicated her professional career to creating and delivering community based services that offer options for adults with disabilities and older adults who face disability as they age.
“I was out walking in Huntington Beach on a Saturday afternoon and crossing PCH was Debbie and The Unstoppable Dogs, I had to meet them!” she says. “When I learned that Debbie does pet therapy with the dogs I had to invite her out to Easterseals.”
Once the dogs are unleashed, they quickly speed through the large room, running over multiple people’s feet with their wheelchairs.
“This is my first time seeing these dogs, they are so cute.” says Lisa Romero, a participant of the senior services. “I use a walker to move around and It’s good that the dogs can move around with their wheelchairs. Eddie, that little dog cracks me up, he runs so fast!” Romero says as she waves her hand in front of her in hopes that Eddie will turn.
Meanwhile, one of The Unstoppables, Pop, is set on taking the bright yellow tennis balls that seniors place at the legs of their walkers. The tennis balls help people who prefer or can only slide their walkers rather than having to lift it.
Another participant, Christine, who was wearing a bright red shirt and orange pants and could hardly hide her excitement as she laughed with joy, running after the dogs recording them on an Iphone.
“The dogs are cute.” says Christine “I remember when I used to have a dog, I love the dogs.” she says eagerly waiting to get back to petting the dogs.
The Unstoppable Dogs have a published children’s book to share their incredible story of resilience and survival with readers.
“Follow these crusading canines as they prove that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.” Says the book description on Amazon.
These dogs have seized the opportunity at a second chance at life, they have embraced their wheelchairs and prosthetics in order to deliver joy and inspiration to all.
Pearl sums up the visit by saying, “The Unstoppables are survivors and now they live their lives to inspire others and to remind them to never give up.”
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