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Uniting two groups in need...
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in 2008 there were an estimated
259,000 people living with spinal cord injury in the United States. The Center further estimated that roughly 12,000 newly injured
people are added to those roles each year. So many of those coping with spinal cord injury, whether they be among the newly
injured or those well-acquainted with the implications of their disability, find themselves questioning the value of their lives,
both to themselves and to society. Blue Zone Enterprises' founder, C. John Stanchina, certainly faced that question. But
at some point between that time of feeling utterly worthless and today, C. John discovered the value he could bring to a dog in need
of a permanent caretaker, and the value that faithful dog could bring to him.
On another front, according to figures provided by both the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and petfinder.com, at any given
time in the United States, there are 3.2 – 4.2 million dogs in shelters or foster care that need permanent homes. Furthermore,
because the supply of homes for these loving animals falls far short of the demand, tragically, as many as half of those otherwise
healthy dogs are euthanized each year simply because there is no one available to care for them on a permanent basis.
For C. John,
these sad realities intersected to form the heart of his vision for the Hound-a-bout hands-free dog walking system. Namely,
by the promotion of the Hound-a-bout system, C. John seeks to introduce the possibilities and rewards of dog guardianship to a population
perhaps predisposed to think it is beyond their reach. This, in turn, would boost the demand for canine companionship, potentially
reducing the number of dogs unnecessarily put to death each year simply because no one wants them. The result? Hopefully,
more happiness, better health, and a greater sense of fulfillment for those living with spinal cord injury, and more dogs being given
the opportunity to do what they do best - love unconditionally. Wouldn't that be a pretty big WIN-WIN?!?
Louie was one of the millions of dogs in need of a permanent home, until C. John and his wife, Nicole, adopted him from the Humane Society of Perry, IA in August of 2008.
Each year, an estimated 12,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries like the one C. John suffered in January of 2000. The photo above documents the healing of the incision at the site of his spinal fusion surgery.
Partnering the newly injured with companion dogs in need of a permanent home provides invaluable rewards to both groups.
In August of 2011, C. John and Nicole chose adoption once again, taking Rodney home from Midwest Animal Rescue and Services in Brooklyn Park, MN, to be a friend and companion to Louie.