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WFTS: Retired Deputy Supplying Wheelchairs For Animals In Need

John Cox says providing wheelchairs for disabled animals was life-changing not just for them — but for himself.

WFTS: Retired Deputy Supplying Wheelchairs For Animals In Need

For the past 27 years, he served and protected people as a Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy. But now that he's retired, John Cox is shifting his focus to serving and protecting animals with disabilities.

Cox knew providing wheelchairs to animals in need would be life-changing, but he's not just referring to the animals; he's referring to himself.

"It never gets old to see the actual smile, you know, show up to the house and they open up the door and the dog is dragging its legs around, and then to pop them in this wheelie and see them take off," said Cox.

"I rescued a dog from an eviction before I retired and I always say I don't know who is more blessed, that dog or me," said Cox.

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So instead of playing golf or going to the beach, John used his retirement to start the nonprofit organization Ruck 9.

In the past 18 months, he's provided wheelchairs to 127 animals across the country. He calls them his Wheelie Warriors.

"I just think it's just the fact that when you see what these apparatuses can do and bring life back to and let these dogs thrive," said Cox.

Many of these recipients come from shelters, like Deli, who would have otherwise never had the resources to obtain a wheel chair.

"She has all those typical dog behaviors; she wants to explore, she wants to go for walks. The wheelchair has just really made a difference," said Michal VanderWoude with Satchel's Last Resort Animal Shelter.

Now Deli could soon be rolling right into a new home.

"With a dog like Deli, you see them dragging themselves on the ground, you don't visually get how to care for that dog, but when they are in the wheels though, people are just amazed by her abilities rather than disabilities," said VanderWoude.

This story was originally published by Robert Boyd on

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