Found weighing a mere 18 pounds, it was hard to imagine Aladdin’s potential back in 2013.
In an interview with Fox 29 Philadelphia, Michele Schaffer-Stevens, Aladdin’s human mom, said that when he was found,
“his legs had been broken, his tail had been broken in a couple of spots, and he was missing 12 teeth.”
Aladdin, who has since filled out to a healthier 46 pounds, has accomplished a lot since being rescued. Thanks to a volunteer with Camden County Animal Shelter in New Jersey, Aladdin was quickly connected with Lilo’s Promise, an animal rescue group in the southern New Jersey/Philadelphia area.
Schaffer-Stevens, who is the Community Outreach Director for Lilo’s Promise, specializes in caring for emaciated dogs, and took Aladdin in without hesitation.
Schaffer-Stevens quickly realized that Aladdin was not going to be a temporary foster dog — he was home. Within eight months of adopting him, Aladdin became a certified therapy dog. (PupJournal featured Aladdin as one of 7 incredible pit bull therapy dogs to follow in 2015.)
Aladdin now has a full agenda as a therapy dog, visiting the local Ronald McDonald house; schools; hospitals; and even kissing booths. According to Schaffer-Stevens, he loves his job. In her interview with Fox 29 Philadelphia, she said that Aladdin “starts to bunny hop” with excitement when she tells him it’s time to go to work.
Schaffer-Stevens told PupJournal,
“Everyone says how lucky he is to have found me but honestly, I’m the lucky one. I get to watch him work with people on a daily basis…it never gets old.”
Schaffer-Stevens tells the story of Aladdin’s incredible transformation in this video from Fox 29 Philadelphia:
It’s no surprise, then, that Aladdin has been nominated twice as a Hero Dog through the American Humane Association. In both 2015 and 2016, he was nominated for his therapy work. If he wins in 2016, both Lilo’s Promise and Animals 4 Therapy, which certified Aladdin as a therapy dog, would receive donations.
Whether he wins accolades in 2016 or not, Aladdin is already a hero to many.