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A Tale of Recovery

Through the Pawsitive Recovery program, we aim to offer temporary shelter and care to the beloved pets of individuals battling substance abuse or escaping domestic violence situations. Today, we are pleased to share the inspiring journey of Ethan, a graduate of the PAWsitive Recovery program.

Ethan, now in recovery and thriving alongside his best friend Dexter, began to struggle with drugs and alcohol while in college. Soon, it started to affect those around him, and Ethan began to isolate himself from others. His dog, Dexter, never left his side. Through every challenge, Dexter was Ethan’s source of comfort and would eventually become his biggest motivation to embark on a journey to sobriety.

“I always say, if it wasn’t for my pup, I don’t know where I would be; he saved my life. His love and affection are unmatched, and he always makes me happy.”

While Dexter inspired Ethan to seek help, getting help while caring for a pet proved challenging. Ethan had to leave Dexter in a kennel when he checked into rehab. He knew his pup wasn’t happy in that environment, but he had no choice. He had no one else to care for Dexter while he got help. It wasn’t until Ethan completed rehab and entered a sober living facility that he came across our program, PAWsitive Recovery.

Once Dexter entered our program, we got to work to find him a loving home. It took a couple of tries to find the perfect fit, but soon, Dexter found himself with the perfect foster family that showered him with the love and attention he needed while away from Ethan. 

“While Dexter was in foster care, I received a picture of him and their puppy practically spooning. It was the cutest picture, and it made me so happy because I knew he was with a perfect family and had found a new best friend! It provided a feeling of peace. Knowing that Dexter was in a good and safe place through PAWsitive recovery, I had a much more positive outlook on everything. It gave me a lot of comfort and peace knowing he was with such an amazing family.”

Ethan, Dex, and the family who fostered Dex.

Ethan was able to give recovery his all, and while the journey was not easy, he is happy he took the first step towards recovery. 

“Having an animal has been one of the most important motivations in my journey. Working to get my normal life back was very hard but knowing that once I can go back to normal, I would have my little guy back.”

Today, Ethan and Dexter are reunited and happier than ever. They’re taking their new journey one step at a time, knowing they have all of our support.

“Every day when I come home from work, Dexter greets me with all the excitement he has in his little body. It’s always something I look forward to, and it makes coming home a lot more special. This journey won’t just change you for the better but allows you to show up as the best version of yourself for everyone around you, especially your pet.”


Empower individuals like Ethan on their journey to recovery and enable them to care for their pets during the healing process by making a donation to our PAWsitive Recovery program today.