Puppy With Autism Desperately Needs A Loving Home Before It’s Too Late

Meet Joey. Joey has adorable ears. Joey also has canine autism.

dog with autism

The Corgi-Chihuahua mix has not had an easy life. He was abandoned by his family at a shelter and then adopted twice, both times returned through no fault of his own. When his original family left him, volunteers from the West Palm Beach, Florida based rescue organization Destiny for Dogs overheard them say that they didn’t care if he was euthanized.

dog with autism

The rescue immediately took him in. They found a family for him that had two young boys. Sadly, the children and Joey were not a good match. The pup once again went to a foster home.

JoAnn Goodrich, the founder and president of Destiny for Dogs told us that they did find him a second home with someone who seemed to care quite a bit for the pup. She took him with her everywhere. Alarmingly, one day, police found Joey suffering inside of a hot car while his owner was shopping. They rescued Joey and arrested the woman.

dog with autism

From the time Destiny for Dogs took Joey in, he’s been in five foster homes, not counting his current one.

Joey was loved very much in his fifth foster home. He adored his humans, too and loved playing with the other dogs in the house. Unfortunately, because of his chemical imbalance, he could not read the other dogs’ social cues. He didn’t recognize the signals they were giving off when they no longer wanted to play. This could lead to dangerous situations, so, to everyone’s heartbreak, this sweet pup had to find a new foster family.

dog with autism

And even with his current foster, there is sadness – there is already a rescue dog in the home and having another dog in the house is greatly stressing out the pup. It’s in everyone’s best interest that Joey not remain in the home – but the rescue has no available foster homes that meet Joey’s needs – no children and no other pets.

Because of his neurological condition, Joey would not survive the stress of a boarding environment – leaving the rescue with only one heart wrenching option if they cannot find him a home – they will have to humanely euthanize him.

dog with autism

The rescue has given everything they can to Joey. After he was returned to them for the second time, they enlisted the help of Dr. Lisa Radosta of Florida Veterinary Behavior Service. Dr. Radosta monitors Joey regularly and put him on Paxil, as well as blood pressure medication to address his neurological condition.

Speaking about the care Joey receives, JoAnn said:

“He has no “off” switch and continually wants to play. Besides the medication, Joey receives behavioral modification which is different than the training provided by a dog trainer/behaviorist. He is taught skills on how to cope with his condition and has improved.”

It is imperative that whoever adopts Joey continue with his medication and his behavior modification training. Joey has come a long way, but he still has a long way to go. But he can get there, with the right family. Other than caring for his medical needs, there are some requirements for adopting Joey:

– Travel to West Palm Beach twice a year, or more, to meet with Dr. Radosta.
– Have a quiet home with one or two adults and no children or other pets.

The rescue has a strong preference for a Florida based family. However, they will consider out-of-state families, but

– You must agree to home check.
– You must pick up Joey in West Palm Beach
– You must train locally with Joey’s veterinarian/behaviorist.
– You must personally drive, not fly or transport, Joey back to West Palm Beach if, for any reason, the adoption does not work.

JoAnn stresses that Joey doesn’t deserve the life he’s had. So many humans failed him, but all it takes is one human to love him and to save him. She’s hoping – we’re all hoping – that person is reading this right now.

dog with autism

If you think you are the person for Joey, you can contact JoAnn at 561-313-2005 [email protected]

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