Bandit, a senior Shepherd mix, was set to be trained by prison inmates under the “Gwinnett Jail Dog Program”. However, Bandit tested positive for heartworm when he was first taken in for training.
In a tragic turn of events, Bandit lost the use of his lower body as a result of the rare side-effects of heartworm shots. Bandit’s inmate trainers had to work hard and manually squeeze his bladder to help him relieve himself. The poor dog was living a hard life, but his trainers still wanted him to have a home of his own.
Over the years, Bandit impressed many families with his easy-going nature and unconditional love. He was adopted many times, but all the families returned him to the program when they realized that caring for him was “burdensome”.
The rescuers at “Society of Humane Friends of Georgia” pooled their resources and purchased a custom wheelchair for Bandit. While the dog loved his newfound independence on wheels, he still yearned for a forever home.
One day, a wheelchair-clad man named Darrell Rider learned about Bandit. Being paralyzed from the waist-down himself, Darrell forged an instant connection with Bandit. He made arrangements to adopt the senior dog and give him the love and care that he deserved!
Today, Bandit is almost 12 years old, and he is inseparable from his dad. Darrell, who had a traumatizing experience coming to terms with his own disability, believes that true companionship can invariably alter the life of disabled humans and pets. Thank you Darrell, for bringing such joy to Bandit’s life!