Learn about Aladdin, the famous therapy dog who survived abused and helped those who needed him the most.
This month, the world lost one of its most special souls. On March 8, 2022, Aladdin (nicknamed “Laddy” by friends) passed away. Laddy was a beloved therapy dog who helped those in need. In 2017, he was awarded the American Humane Hero Dog award and was State Farm’s “Kindness is Powerful” ambassador.
Laddy overcame a life of neglect and abuse to be a hero and a friend to those who knew him. Moreover, he is a source of inspiration to those who knew him in person and even those who followed him online(34,000 Aladdin Nation followers).
Overcoming Tragic Beginnings
In 2013, a rescue group called Lilo’s Promise saved Laddy from a state of neglect and abuse. He was emaciated and had poorly-healed broken legs, a fractured tail, and various other medical issues. However, even in those tragic circumstances, Laddy was nothing but trusting and loving.
Laddy’s foster mom, Michele Schaffer-Stevens, explained the situation in which they found him in Laddy’s American Hero Dog Awards profile. “Aladdin was found severely abused and emaciated, missing 12 teeth and with open wounds,” wrote Michele. “From the moment I met him, his little tail never stopped wagging, despite his horrific condition.”
In fact, Laddy’s condition was so severe that Michele had fears that he might not be able to recover. However, with a healthy dose of food, great veterinary care, and a whole lot of love, Laddy started to improve.
From Foster Parent to Adoption
As Laddy became healthier, he was taken to adoption events so that a loving family could adopt him. However, Michele realized that Laddy fit so perfectly with her family that she decided to officially adopt him.
Moreover, within a year of his recovery, Laddy was certified as a therapy dog and visited hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. “He was the most amazing therapy dog I’ve ever seen,” wrote Michele in a Facebook tribute. “He knew exactly what someone needed before I did. He was famous for approaching strangers at the airport and other public places… whimpering until I let him go see them and sure enough each person had been through a recent tragedy.”
Helping Others In Need
While he loved all humans, Laddy had a special love for children. As a Ronald McDonald House ambassador, he taught school children about tolerance and compassion. He was also the face of Lilo’s Promise Animal Rescue and dispelled many myths regarding Pit Bulls.
From serving as a “spokespup” for the Show Your Soft Side campaign against animal abuse to showing people that real men and women don’t hurt animals, Laddy made a big difference in many people’s (and dogs’) lives.
In his free time, Laddy loved spending some quality time with his family and swimming at the Jersey Shore. After his rescue, Laddy enjoyed 10 amazing years with Michele and their family. Michele shared the following post on Facebook after Laddy’s passing:
If you want to honor Laddy’s memory, Michele says you can do one of the following:
- Donate to Show Your Soft Side or the Ronnie Stanley Foundation
- Sponsor a Lilo’s Promise dog
- Buying one of Laddy’s books to donate to your “local library, school library, or someone who needs a little love.”
Featured Image via Facebook/Aladdin Nation