Rescue Organization Gives People, Dogs Second Opportunity At Life

MULBERRY (KFSM)—A Mulberry woman is giving dogs and people a second opportunity at life.

Donna Sullivan rescues canines, gives them the care they need and fosters them out to the people who need them most.

“It kept coming upon my heart that the canine companions are what people need,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and her family have been through their share of personal tragedy, but Sullivan said she chooses to always look at the glass half full. Her son John Staves was riding his motorcycle in Phoenix in January 2011, when a drunk driver T-boned him.

“They told me he wasn’t going to make it,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan prayed for a sign when her son was on life support, and she got one. Staves Sullivan survived, but unfortunately, he suffered a severe brain injury that still affects him today. He said he even thought about suicide until his mom got him his first rescue pet.

“I didn't want to be around anymore because I felt useless, but what saved me is my dog,” Staves Sullivan said.

That’s when Donna Sullivan said she realized she found her calling seeing how dogs can provide healing to people who need it most. Soon after she started a dog rescue organization called Pawzatively Canine.

“What we’re trying to do is twofold,” Sullivan said. “We want to give dogs and people a second [chance] at life, love and happiness.”

The comfort dogs have had some hardships as well. Before John got his dog named Nugget, she was hit by a car. Her leg never healed properly, and she will have to soon get it amputated.

“We actually take dumped, unwanted, abandoned and neglected dogs that people call disposable,” Sullivan said.

Her friend Barbara Richards has suffered arthritis for more than a decade, so Sullivan gave Richards a dog to help lift her spirits. Richards has helped her dog Jack overcome possible trauma and neglect he suffered in his previous home.

“Donna’s given them a home and showing them the love that they need,” Richards said.

Right now Sullivan sends the rescue dogs to foster homes, but an anonymous donor recently donated some land so she can build her own facility. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the costs.