‘A Bonded Pair’: Blind Pooch and His Guide Dog Dad Search for a Forever Home

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Two-year-old Buddy has tons of curiosity to explore a world he cannot see.

The tan boxer mix is completely blind. He relies on his father, 4-year-old Big Daddy, for guidance.

“Every minute or two, he just wants to know where Big Daddy is, and he’ll bump into him or he’ll sniff for him and make sure that he’s still there,” said Sandy Hickman, a handler at the Associated Humane Society (AHS) Popcorn Park shelter of Lacey Township, New Jersey.

The father and son duo were flown to the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter in a private plane piloted by Paul Steklenski, who works for the Flying Fur Animal Rescue, an aerial animal rescue group.

The blind dog and his father arrived in New Jersey June 1.

Despite their big smiles and wagging tails, the two spent more than a year in a small, overcrowded animal shelter in North Carolina waiting to be adopted.

“Being a pair, a bonded pair, it was harder for them to get adopted so we had the room to take them,” handler Tiffany Zinky from the AHS shelter said.

Through networking, the North Carolina shelter was able to find AHS Popcorn Park, which agreed to shelter the dogs.

“They are both such sweet, well-behaved boys that love people of all ages and get along fine with other dogs too,” AHS said on its website. “They are now looking for a home where they can stay together forever and have a good family of their own to love and care for them.”

For more information on how to adopt Buddy and Big Daddy, click here.

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COMMON ITEMS YOU CAN DONATE


  • Towels and blankets - Shelters are often cold and animals like to have a blanket to curl up on. Towels are a big help to dry animals off after being bathed or if they come in wet. Towels can also be used to line the bottoms of cages. The towels or blankets don't have to be brand new or in perfect condition. The animals won't mind, as long as they're usable.
  • Canned and Dry Food for Cats and Dogs-Healthy - Healthy pet options for nourishment
  • Kitty litter and cat boxes - Cats go to the bathroom- a lot. Shelters are constantly using bag after bag of litter. Their supply runs out fast.
  • Puppy or kitten formula and nursing bottles - Sometimes there are situations where a young puppy or kitten who is not weaned gets separated from their mother. In these situations they need puppy or kitten formula to survive.
  • Old newspaper - When you're done with your newspapers you usually just throw them away or recycle them, right? You could help animals at no cost to you if you just save up your old newspapers. Newspapers are used in the bottoms of cages. They get soiled quickly, so they're in constant demand.
  • Collars, harnesses, and leashes - Dogs who are taken out on walks need a leash and collar or harness. The shelter loses some because adopted dogs often go home with their leash or harness.
  • Grooming supplies - Grooming supplies can include shampoo, brushes, combs, haircutting scissors, etc. Dogs and cats often come in dirty or end up getting dirty. Grooming supplies can keep them fresh, clean, and adoptable.
  • Toys - You would get bored if you had to lay in a crate alone all day, wouldn't you? Animals in shelters get bored, too. It keeps the animals from being so lonely and bored and allows them to get exercise. You could go out and buy new toys, or you could donate toys your pets or children may have not gotten much use out of. It's as simple as that.
  • Crates and carriers - Animals need to be transported somehow, and the cost of multiple crates and carriers can add up quickly. You can donate ones you stopped using that are still in good condition or you could go buy one for a decent price. This helps the shelter tremendously.
  • Paper towels and cleaning supplies - There are a lot of situations that get messy, so paper towels are a big help.
  • Hand wash and hand sanitizer - People who work at shelters need to keep their hands clean for their and the animals' health.
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach - Towels and blankets get soiled often so the washing machines are being used a lot
  • Dog and cat beds - this can offer the animals a soft place to lay instead of a kennel or cage floor.
  • Heating pads - Many animals come in cold or are young and need warmth. Heating pads can replace a mother's warmth.
  • Copy paper and pens, pencils, post-it notes and staples - You can't forget about all the paperwork that has to be done. Donating these items makes it so the shelter doesn't have to buy them on their own.
  • Garbage bags, mops, brooms, and sponges - The shelter uses these every day and clean up supplies can get expensive.
  • Food bowls - As new animals come in, the shelter needs new places to put food. Having an adequate supply could mean life or death for an animal in a shelter.
  • Rubber and latex gloves - A lot of messy stuff happens and gloves are necessary to lessen the spread of germs.
  • Plastic shopping bags - Plastic bags can be used to clean up dog mess and to store things in.

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