Meet Aladdin the Therapy Pit Bull, Who's Living Proof That Love Really Does Conquer All
Aladdin the pit bull is a therapy and crisis response dog who was rescued by dog mom Michelle Schaffer after suffering heartbreaking abuse and neglect. This sweet, helpful dog has an intuitive, almost sixth-sense-like ability to know when people are hurting and to offer comfort.
"He seems to always know the person that needs the most," Schaffer tells Daily Paws."And I believe it's because he had such a hard time and he was rehabilitated with love. And I think he just chooses to give love back."
Aladdin was found on the side of the road in 2013 starving, with broken legs, a broken tail, 12 missing teeth, and open wounds. The animal shelter that took Aladdin in reached out to Schaffer, who had taken on emaciated foster dogs in the past. Schaffer agreed to take Aladdin, even though his medical situation was so dire that she doubted he could even survive. Miraculously, the pup did survive, and now he's thriving in his forever home.
"I never thought that he would stay, but he never left," Schaffer says.
She says their early days together after adoption weren't perfect. Aladdin was still very fearful of humans, but the more attention and love he got, the more Schaffer says he opened up to her. She says it was after about 6 months together that Aladdin started showing off a new demeanor—one that was outgoing and loved people. It was such an incredible transformation from the fearful dog that had come into her home that Schaffer decided to have Aladdin complete a therapy dog test to see if his newfound energy could be put to work helping people in need.
It turns out Aladdin was definitely suited for therapy work, and he's been serving at the Ronald McDonald house as an ambassador dog for nearly 8 years. Schaffer says Aladdin loves kids, and also has a knack for finding the parents and siblings of sick children who need his love and care, too.
Aladdin has also worked as a crisis response dog visiting the victims and first responders of natural disasters and tragedies like the Orlando nightclub shootings. In these situations, Schaffer says it's clear that Aladdin has the same sense for finding hurting people who need him.
But it's not just in his work where Aladdin finds people who need comfort. This special pooch has even scouted out multiple grieving people in need of his love in public places, like the airport.
"He has met so many people and changed so many lives, and if it wasn't for a rescue pulling him, none of that would have happened," Schaffer says.