9+Pet RefugeWhere new beginnings have happy endings


Telephone: 574  231 1122 | 4626 Burnett Drive, South Bend, IN 46614

Special Needs Dogs

This page is dedicated to our dogs with special medical or behavioral needs. As a no-kill rescue, we make a lifelong commitment to every animal that comes through our doors and some of these animals require ongoing care and treatment. While some of these dogs are happiest in their current foster homes or at our shelter, others are available for adoption to the right home. Please see their individual descriptions to learn more about each dog. In the meantime, all of these dogs are available for you to "sponsor". The Sponsor program helps us to continue to provide for their future medical care.  All of these dogs hold a very special place in our hearts.  










Rojo is a 12 year old, Husky boy who has been with us on & off for many years, first coming to us when he was only 2 years old.  He will stay with us now due to being in liver failure.  He is on some special medicine to help with his liver but recently after checking some blood work, we are having to add an additional medicine to help.  Otherwise, he is still eating well and wanting to go for his daily walks.


Click here to sponsor the Rojo in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.







Angel is not available for adoption at this time


Hi, my name is Angel and I am one lucky dog since Pet Refuge found me at a local shelter. The shelter was treating me for demodex mange. I looked and felt horrible. The shelter was so happy Pet Refuge was taking me in. See, I am just so very, very sweet. I have a hidden past that I don't want to talk about. It includes way too many children and some things that really scared me. My foster mommy takes great care of me. She tells me what a good girl I am. When I came to her home, I was so itchy all the time.  I got lots of medicines and special baths and I got over the demodex mange, but was still having lots of skin issues. So the vets said my allergies were the problem.  After testing, they found that I am allergic to so many things, including cotton! So now I am on special food, more medicine and my foster mom gives me shots. I am so brave and good during my shots. She is so proud of me. As you can see, I am looking and feeling better. I have a long way to go and hopefully soon will look like an Olde English bulldog should look. Until that time, I know I am in good hands with my foster family and Pet Refuge. If you can help them out with my care, I would be so grateful. 


Click here to sponsor the Angel in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.



Angel when she was first rescued by Pet Refuge







Fenway is a sweet 7-year-old Labrador-Chow mix who was recently returned to us when the child in the home proved to be too much for him. Once our vet evaluated Fenway, it became very clear that Fenway suffers from severe hip dysplasia and has been is pain for quite a while. After starting him on pain medication and supplements, we have already seen a dramatic improvement. Fenway enjoys hanging out in the yard with his foster sister and going on slower walks. We would much appreciate some financial assistance with his ongoing medical care.


Click here to sponsor the Fenway in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.









Grissom is a Treeing Walker Coonhound mix with serious stranger issues. He came to Pet Refuge from a kill shelter so we don't know what his life was like before he came to us. We do know that he takes a really long time before he decides that a stranger is a friend. Right now he lives in a foster home in the country where he can spend his days chasing squirrels and biting trees (yes, he has killed full-sized trees). He has significant allergies and requires special food and medication. We would love to have some help paying for his food and medical bills.


Click here to sponsor the Grissom in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.






I've been Adopted!


My name is Holly! I am a 4 year old Shepherd mix with a very sweet and loving personality! I enjoy playing with my toys and taking daily power walks, but I do like to stop once in awhile to smell the roses!

Even though I am an active girl who requires a fenced yard, I also enjoy lounging with my foster parents, giving them love and getting belly rubs in return. I have not lived with children, and because I am very energetic and exuberant when I play, a home with small children is not recommended. I am completely housebroken and have great house manners. I get along with some other dogs, but I can get a little jealous if someone else is getting attention.

So if you would enjoy walking with a great friend who will give you lots of love, I am your girl! I do not attend regular adoption events, so if you would like to meet me, please send an e-mail to webmaster@petrefuge.com and my foster mom would be happy to bring me to Pet Refuge to see you! (50 to 60 pounds) (*)

Holly has an undiagnosed medical condition that can be described as bouts of rapid, deep hiccups. These bouts can last for a few minutes or several hours, and the severity varies, but when they are severe, Holly gets very scared. After placing her on a special diet, the bouts have been less severe and the frequency also has been reduced. After she has one of these attacks,she is placed on two medications for at least a couple of weeks.

Click here to sponsor the Holly in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.  Sponsoring helps pay for the medical and care of Holly. 


You can also make a one time donation using the PayPal button below:





Will you play with me?










Beemer's status is one that we feel most comfortable as just listing and asking for your sponsorship support and keeping him with us.  He was adopted and returned several years ago due to his owner passing away.  Beemer has an expression that is hard to explain other than you look at him and always wonder "just what is he thinking".  Mostly it is probably about food!!   After a period of him not doing so well medically, we discovered that he did have Cushings.  He has been on medicine to help with that, but further testing is needed and some adjustments either on dosage or all new medicine is going to be needed as he just isn't doing as well as he could.  If you have ever had a Beagle, you know that they get those pesky growths all over their body sometimes.  He does too!!  We have had a few removed.  He has some more, here and there, on his body which at some point may need to be removed. So, although he really doesn't like it, he has to wear the "cone-of-shame" sometimes to keep him from scratching and opening them up.  That does not stop him from getting to the food bowl though!  So, for now, even though he doesn't always feel that great, he enjoys harnessing up and going for his daily walks at the shelter and smelling everything on the ground throughout the entire walk. We also have put him on a special food for dogs' with allergies to try to help his skin.








Beatrice came to us from another shelter and once we heard her story we could not turn away.  She is a 10 year old Rottie girl who tested positive for heartworm and also had a terrible infection from not being spayed.  After giving her a little TLC, she went to her first Vet appointment and had her spay surgery.  She came through that great!  Next, we needed to decide how to treat the heartworm.  Given her age, we did not choose the traditional method but decided to do the slow-kill treatment.   It takes longer and still comes with some risk, but we are hoping that by monitoring her closely, she will continue to do well. 

However, Beatrice does have a wish. She is hoping to find that Rottie loving family out there that might consider giving her a forever home. She appears to be housebroken as she has wonderful kennel manners and always waits until it is her turn to go outside. Given her age, she does have some arthritis and it is slow moving on her walks but we keep reminding her that even a little walk is good for her bones! If there would be another dog in the home, she would prefer that it be one that is more on her level of excitability... she gets very excited when it is time to eat and then it’s back to napping :) 

Beatrice has a wonderful personality and just enjoys laying her head on your lap while she is being petted.  So, if you are a Rottie lover, please consider giving Beatrice her wish of living her "Golden Years" in a home of her own.   Until then, Beatrice would appreciate your sponsorship which will help go towards purchasing the antibiotic and preventative (slow-kill treatment method) to get rid of those nasty heartworms!  Thank you!


Click here to sponsor the Beatrice in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.






Zandra has been patiently waiting for the perfect home to come along for quite some time!  She is a Terrier mix of about 6-7 years old.  Zandra wishes her new home to be one that has her as the only canine.  She really enjoys playing fetch with a tennis ball unfortunately; she is limited in doing this due to some knee and hip issues.  Neither of these issues really bother her as she is on daily glucosamine which helps with both.  She goes along with the idea when a few of our volunteers feel she needs to be dressed up in clothes!  She loves it after her kennel has been cleaned and she gets to go to the toy box and pick out a squeaky toy of which she promptly "de-squeaks" them.  She currently holds the record :)


She is a favorite around the shelter but every cleaner wants nothing more than to see her get into her forever home.  Please come in and meet her today.  Currently, Zandra weighs 21 pounds but is on the famous "Bailey-Craig weight loss program".

Recently Zandra has had to have some tests and they came back as she has liver disease. She is on daily medication and would appreciate your sponsorship. Please consider donating for her care.

Click here to sponsor the Zandra in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.












This is Honey and she is going to need a very special home. She is house broken and will love you forever once she knows you.  She was never socialized so her foster mom is spending a lot of time teaching her that she is safe and there are good people in the world. She is learning how to play and loves to run from room to room then "slide into home" on the couch. When she's ready to rest she loves to curl under a comforter and peek her nose or head out. She likes routine and will need a home without children and a quieter home.


We are still working with Honey to be available for adoption.  Please consider sponsoring her while we continue to work with her. (*) (Under 25 pounds)



Mom and several other people at the shelter say I've come a long way.  I go to "visit" everyone at the shelter and people can come up to me and I won't bark and if I do I settle down pretty quickly.  I'm even confident enough to start going towards people to sniff them and take a treat if they have one but I still don't let people I don't know pet me.  Running in the yard and sniffing where the squirrels and rabbits have been is fun and once I get that out of my system I do come when Mom calls (I think she lets me play for so long because I take a nice nap afterwards).  I like structure because by 9:00 pm I'm telling Mom it's time for me to go out for the last time so I can go to bed. 


Thanks for not giving up on me Pet Refuge and thank you everyone for donating to Pet Refuge so I can continue to learn and trust.



Click here to sponsor the Honey in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.



Honey showing us how much she loves her foster mom:




Junior is a Rottweiler/Shepherd mix of 12 years.  Junior would appreciate your sponsorship to help with his medicine and medical needs.  This handsome boy has seizures and is currently on medicine to control them.  He has had dental work done and surgery to remove a few growths in his mouth. Unfortunately, one of the growths did come back as cancer. So, for now, we spoil him as much as we can.  He loves to go for car rides and walks.  But you have to be on your guard as he has words for every car that passes us on the walk! He loves to play ball which includes fetching a basketball, soccer or even a football.  He is a favorite among all of the caretakers!


Update (February 2015): Junior is almost 13 years old now and is still not letting the growth from his mouth hold him back from enjoying his daily walks or being on alert when someone is outside of his kennel :)  Being a larger breed dog, his back end has been bothering him.  Since he is on the anti-seizure medicine and his liver is not-so-great, it was tricky trying to find some feel-good medicine for those hips!  But, we are starting him on some to see how it goes.  If you have visited our shelter, you can find him spending several nights a week in the real life room where there are multiple dog beds, couch, TV and oodles and oodles of toys which he enjoys.



Click here to sponsor the Junior in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.












Lights, Camera, Action!  This guy is sure to win your heart!  Oscar is a very sweet older gentelmen.  He likes other dogs and people.  He is blind so he will need a quiet home to live out his golden years.  Please call if you would like to meet this movie star today!  He is a10 year old Maltipoo.  (under 20 pounds)(*)


Please consider sponsoring him for his continued medical treatment.



Click here to sponsor the Oscar in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.











Luke is a very young, 12 year old, Terrier mix who came back to us due to his owner passing away. He has been known to be shy with men in his past but has done well with our "male" volunteers at the shelter. Luke is very sweet and loves to sit on your lap! Unfortunately, he has some heart conditions that have him on medical hold. Please consider sponsoring him for his continued medical treatment.


Update (February 2015): Luke has been on our sponsorship page for a while.  He is still a happy fellow in a foster home.  He is on daily medicine to try to keep his heart working properly, which so far, he is doing very well.  He has a 4-legged companion he likes to go out in the yard with and run.


Click here to sponsor the Luke in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.
















Fab 5

We helped with a hoarding situation back in July of 2012.  There were 5 dogs out of Tennessee and we were surprised when we received an email request asking for our help since they were so far away.  But the Animal Rescue Corp had rescued over 100 dogs from one facility that were being kept in the most horrible conditions any animal lover could imagine.  It can be very difficult to find places for dogs that are as feral as all of these dogs were.  So on that July day, Big Rosie, Roxie, Bear, Boss and Archie came a long way to live with us at Pet Refuge.   All had major health issues which included being positive for Heartworm.


Our volunteers have never been ones to say "no way".  They always step up when needed and that is what made it possible for us to be able to accept these dogs into our shelter.  But now, almost 3 year later, they have come a long way. Please help us with their medical needs by sponsoring one of them today.


Boss (Fab 5)


Boss is a Hound mix of about 8-10 years old. He is one of the dogs from the hoarding rescue we helped with and was one that was more social in the beginning. Boss went through the slow-kill, heartworm treatment. Boss has made quite a bit of progress since he arrived at Pet Refuge. He is doing very well at walking on a leash and even learning some beginner obedience commands! He loves receiving butt scratches and enjoys attention from people he knows. Boss recently spent some time visiting with one of our volunteers and he did very well in her home. He is a dog that will need continued socialization and confidence-building, but he would love to live out his golden years in a quiet home with a patient family. Boss has done well around other laid back dogs that give him some space and he might enjoy having an outgoing dog as a role model.


Please consider sponsoring him for his continued medical treatment.



Click here to sponsor the Fab5 in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.






Archie (Fab 5)



Archie is a Shepherd mix of about 7-9 years old. After being examined by our Vet, it was determined that he is almost totally blind but he does see some shadowing. He also has a very keen sense of smell because he knows when his buddy, Boss is near. He is finally becoming much more comfortable around people and doing excellent with his leash walking work. He has just the sweetest puppy looking face! He went through the slow-kill heartworm treatment and would appreciate any help you can give towards his medical needs.



Click here to sponsor the Fab5 in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.










Roxie (Fab 5)


Roxie is a smaller Lab mix of about 8-10 years old. Roxie first came to us with a lot of medical problems. She had a huge lump under one of her eyes, terrible teeth and also a mammary growth. She had two dental sessions and 18 teeth removed, but is able to eat well now. Unfortunately, the lump under her eye is cancer and could not be removed entirely, but right now does not seem to bother her. She also went through the slow-kill heartworm treatment.

Roxie is now in a foster home and is doing very well. She loves to be in her chair with her stuffed toys and watch her foster parents and her dog “sister”. She knows how to sit and shake. In the morning when she gets up and knows that breakfast is coming, she does a “happy dance”, where she prances around, bows, paws at her head and jumps at her foster mom. She has even learned to love belly rubs.

These are incredible accomplishments for Roxie because when she first came to the shelter, she was extremely scared and did not like to be touched. She is still a little frightened of some noises, especially when outside, but often gets playful at night. It is truly amazing to see how far she has come, and that she can finally be more like a normal dog, and be comfortable in a loving home.

She would appreciate your sponsorship for her continued care.







Click here to sponsor the Fab5 in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.





Bear (Fab 5)



Bear is a 6-year-old Chow mix with a rough past. He was rescued from a hoarding situation in which he was kept in deplorable conditions. He still has huge scars on his beautiful face. He has come a long way since his first days in our shelter, but he still needs an adoptive parent with time and patience for him. He is shy with new people and seems to only be comfortable being petted if he feels entirely secure. He likes to "check" on his people to see what they are doing. He is crate trained and knows a few basic obedience commands. He is potty-trained unless it is raining for a long time (he hates to go out in the rain, this is common in dogs who are kept outdoors). He walks well on a leash.


He must be a morning "person" because for a brief time every morning, he runs happily through the house. He selects one room of a house that he is most comfortable in and likes to hang out there most of the time. Bear would like to have other well-behaved dogs in his adoptive home. Because of his fear, and how difficult it would be to catch him if he ran away, he would also like to have a secure, fenced-in yard.


Click here to sponsor the Fab5 in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.






To see where our Fab 5 came from, check out the video footage from their original rescuer (the Animal Rescue Corps):




Rosie (Fab 5)



We are VERY happy to say that Rosie has been adopted!


Big Rosie had a huge mammary tumor which was removed and she had 20 teeth removed
because they were being worn down and causing her pain.  I can honestly say that besides Bear, she was one of the hardest dogs to try to work with in the beginning.  I can only compare her to an alligator whenever you tried to touch her, she just started snapping.  Oh, and Big Rosie also has limited vision.  Not totally blind like Archie but probably 50% loss of eye-site. Big Rosie was also an older dog and had gotten used to not being handled for many, many years.
In the condition these dogs were kept in Tennessee, it is obvious that they had no human contact.  I can admit that I was very worried in the beginning that we would not be able to get her to come around and be at a point of us being able to show her the love that we all really wanted to give her. 

After a few months of working with all of them, it was time to start getting some of their medical needs taken care of.  Big Rosie really wasn't ready, but we needed to start getting her dental situation taken care of and find out if the mammary growth was going to end up being cancer or not.  So ready or not, she got loaded in a crate and after some sedation for an exam at the Vet’s office and multiple visits I should add, Dr. Harr removed the bad teeth in her mouth and
also spayed and removed the large mammary growth.  She ended up with some tummy tucking after the procedure due to the mere size of it.  But we were so happy to receive the pathology report back that it was benign!
After all of the medical procedures were done and over which was about 5-6 months into her stay with us, all of the sudden she just blossomed!  She used to spin around in circles when we would leash her harness and walk her outside to potty and that decreased to almost no spinning at all.  She suddenly became more interested in us whenever we would come into her kennel to talk to her or when we talked to her outside of her kennel.  AND we could even start petting her without any snapping or her trying to get away.  Maybe for the first time, in a long time, she really felt GOOD health wise or maybe she learned with time, that all people are not bad.  She would even enjoy hanging out in the infirmary with a few of the other little dogs that were in there for various reasons.  She would watch them interact with us. 
Recently Virginia, a dog room cleaner,  who had helped take care of her from the beginning asked to take her to her home to see how she would react.  After only one day of visiting her home, Virginia asked to adopt her and give her a permanent home!

So far, she has lined up in a row with her other two dogs when waiting to get fed, goes for little short walks outside.  She has a large fluffy bed that she enjoys laying on in the bathroom which, she chose as being the safe place she is most comfortable in right now.  It will take time for her but I know that in looking back at the true miracle in how she came around with us at the
shelter, that she will learn how wonderful being inside a home is. 


Click here to Check out Rosie in an article on Life with Dogs TV!   



Eddie is a gorgeous 5-year old Chow. Unfortunately, his previous owners did not socialize Eddie very well and he will need continued training and socialization. Eddie is comfortable in his foster home and it is felt that is the best place for him.  Eddie likes other dogs but does not play well with children.  Please sponsor Eddie to help with his care and training.


Click here to sponsor the Eddie in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.



Ranger is a husky mix who has been adopted and returned multiple times. He has some behavioral and housebreaking issues and hasn’t adjusted well in new homes. After so many years in the same foster home, it was agreed it would be best to let him stay where he’s comfortable in his surroundings. Ranger is 8 years old. 


Please consider sponsoring Ranger to help us cover the costs of his care.


Click here to sponsor the Ranger in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.





Bailey is an 10-year-old blue tick Coonhound. She is a very sweet girl who loves to be with her people and give doggie hugs. Unfortunately, she experiences some separation anxiety when she is home alone. Bailey is house broken and has good house manners. She likes most other dogs. Bailey is known to climb even 5-foot chain link fences.  Bailey is doing very well in her foster home and it is felt that is the best place for her.  Please consider sponsoring her to help with her care.



Click here to sponsor the Bailey in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.














Murphy is a very sweet boy who does well with other dogs and kids. Even though he is eleven and half years old, Murphy is an expert climber and can master chain link fences of any height. So he will need a privacy fence. Murphy was returned to us due to incontinence. He's on two medications to help manage this condition, but he still needs to wear a belly band in the house.  Please help sponsor him to cover medication and his care.



Click here to sponsor the Murphy in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.











 Lacey came to us from another shelter and is a Treeing Walker Coonhound of about 11 years old. Lacey enjoys being around people, exploring in the yard and basically being a Hound-girl. She may do well around some other dogs but felines are not in her future! She should do fine around older children and a fenced yard is required.

After several years at various shelters, Lacey is now enjoying herself in a loving foster home. So much, in fact, that she just doesn't understand why she would have to ever attend another adoption event in her life.



Click here to sponsor the Lacey in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.






Miss Abby is a Treeing Walker Coonhound of about 9 years old. She is in a foster home and doing better. Miss Abby did not come from the best situation, so our foster home is giving her lots of love and attention! She does well around most other dogs her size but no felines please! Soon after coming to us, we learned that Abby had seizures and is on medication to keep that under control. Please consider sponsoring her to help with the care and medication.



Click here to sponsor the Abby in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.







Luke is a loving, smaller Lab mix of 10 years old. His buddy, Mya, is pictured below and that is who he came to us with. We believe Luke has had a tough life before coming to us and has a few minor medical issues which we would love to tell you about. His happy and loving personality is well worth it! A fenced yard is required.


Click here to sponsor the Luke in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.









Mya is a Husky/Shepherd mix of 10 years old. She came to us with Luke.  She is learning quickly how great it feels to receive love and attention and especially LOVES to be brushed. Not a mean bone in this body. She has done well hanging out with Luke, but has been known to be pushy around other dogs. So, if you already have one, she would need to meet him/her!! A fenced yard is required.



Click here to sponsor the Mya in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.













This spunky little Puggle is Delila who is 5 1/2 years old and seeking that special home that will have some time to spend with her and provide her with some good exercise. Delila needs to the only animal in the home as she just doesn't want to share the attention. This little girl has become very settled in her foster home and does very well there.  Please consider sponsoring her to help with her care.




Click here to sponsor the Delila in our Sponsor-A-Pet Program.







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