One Deputy’s Dream of Helping Special Needs Pets Comes True

One Deputy's Dream of Helping Special Needs Pets Comes True
Cooper the Frenchie loves his Walkin’ Wheels.

John Cox, a retired assistant from Sarasota, Florida, began his journey helping animals with special needs just over a year ago and has already changed the lives of 68 animals!

There are two things these animals have in common – one being mobility issues and the other being mobility solutions. Without the help of John, his team and all of their fundraising efforts, this would not be possible.

During his first year, John and his charity Ruck9 have donated wheelchairs to 68 animals, the number of animals helped so far includes:

With many more animals to come!

How it works?

The owners approach John and his Foundation who are in dire need of help for their furry loved ones, and no questions asked, John agrees to support them in any way, shape or form he can.

Whether it’s a senior dog with arthritis or a young pup with an amputated limb, John has a mobility solution for them. Ruck9 partners with Walkin’ Pets, a pet mobility device company that helps these pets with special needs adjust to their rear or fully compatible Walkin’ Wheels wheelchairs.

Ruck9 changes lives forever

One Deputy's Dream of Helping Special Needs Pets Comes True
Mattie Mae and her adoptive parents.

Don Jackson, adoptive owner of Mattie Mae (a wheelie veteran), says, “John came down and gave her a Walkin’ Wheels cart. This cart made this animal a dog, a normal dog. She is like any other dog. She has no idea what legs are; someone forgot to tell her she had them.

Not only do these devices provide the ability for these animals to live independently, but they also save them from euthanasia, undergo extensive/risky surgeries, and help homeless ones become more adoptable, thus helping to find their forever home. . . A win-win!

Many people are eternally grateful to have crossed paths with John Cox, including Michelle Sampson, the founder of Gimme Shelter Pet Adoption. Sampson rescued Rue, a disabled puppy, from a high-mortality shelter just an hour before his scheduled euthanasia. With John’s help, Rue is now settled into a fully adapted wheelchair, where she can run around and spend time with her forever family.

One Deputy's Dream of Helping Special Needs Pets Comes True
Rue is living her best life in her Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair.

Sampson says, “She had a stroke and didn’t have the use of her front legs, and of course she’s not adoptable like that. Someone put me in touch with Ruck9, and when we gave her the cart, she started thriving and moving. She’s a maniac; you can’t keep this dog down! Disabled? There are no disabled people here! She’s a warrior on wheels. I am so grateful to Walkin’ Pets and John Cox. It takes a village; no one can do it alone.

This is just the beginning

Ruck9 regularly organizes events to raise funds. This money buys equipment, like wheelchairs, for these animals so they can be mobile again. Recently, Ruck9 held a 5K event in Sarasota, Florida called “Sup & Run”. The event brought together more than 1,000 participants united for a great cause. The money raised gives John the opportunity to help dozens of other pets get the second chance they deserve and gives owners peace of mind that their pets will be taken care of.

Cox says, “Our mission is to help as many animals as possible, get wheelchairs and help them feel like they’re the animal they’re meant to be. All the profits are just going to be able to put more and more wheelies on our “wheelie warriors”.

From rescue to awareness, networking and opportunity – these pets can see another day. With the help of the animal-loving community, anything is possible.

To learn more about Ruck9 or to donate, please visit their website

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