An introduction to Maple and her cause!

“The tendency to see a disability before an individual, is a disability unique to mankind.” - Ayla Manzer

our mission

  • Encourage Compassion Towards Animals and Peers

  • Erase Disability Stigmas

  • Teach Responsible Pet Ownership

  • Educate about Siberian Huskies

About Our Handicapable Program

Our Handicapable program is an extension of Husky Haven of Florida specifically for our dogs with physical disabilities. Our goal is to teach humans far and wide that dogs with disabilities should not be viewed as “damaged.” They shouldn’t be sent to shelters to be euthanized based solely on looks! Having a dog with disabilities may be more work, but they have just as much, if not more, love to give! We aim to change negative attitudes, stereotypes, prejudices, and implicit and explicit biases toward dogs and humans with disabilities. Our “spokesdogs” will lead by example, showing everyone that disability is normal!

We will soon be available to visit schools, medical facilities, youth groups and homes, etc., to give presentations supporting our mission. We will talk about compassion, disabilities, and responsible pet ownership. If you would like to have one of our Handicapables visit your facility, please send us an email to set up a visit.

How it began

It all began with dog #A1948256 late in 2018. She was a stray Siberian Husky found in Tampa, taken to the shelter, named Marissa, and scheduled to be euthanized a week later. Doctors note, “deformed front limbs, very friendly.” The words, “deformed limbs” were her death sentence. Luckily, Husky Haven of Florida was notified and pulled her out of the shelter, having never before rescued a dog with such physical deformities. She was renamed Holly and quickly became a favorite. She behaved as though she had no idea she was any different; to her and other dogs, she wasn’t. She was overflowing with love, giving every person she met a big hug and sloppy, teethy, kisses. Soon, she was adopted with the condition that she continue to spread her love in any way possible.

Her final, permanent name became Maple, based on her beautiful, syrupy color and oh-so-sweet demeanor. After many talks with several veterinarians, Maple was cleared to live life normally, with no special care besides joint supplements. She was fitted with a wheelchair for the occasional long walk, but doesn’t need it for any medical reason. Over the next several months it became more and more apparent that based on the way Maple looked, humans were quick to impose their own restrictions and limitations on her without any knowledge other than what they saw upon first glance. Many people think she is suffering or in pain, some think she shouldn’t be allowed to partake in simple, everyday activities like walking, some even assume she may even be aggressive. This quickly made her mom realize there was a great lack of public knowledge and information about dogs with disabilities! She reached out to Husky Haven of Florida, and the Husky Haven Handicapable program was born! Several more dogs with disabilities have been rescued since. We hope every one of them will help spread the message that disability IS NORMAL!