Since 2014, Bandit has been with the Gwinnett Jail Dogs Program, dreaming of finding a forever home. This program allows select inmates to help foster and train dogs rescued from kill shelters. Bandit bonded with many people in the program, but his special needs made it difficult to find a home. He had been adopted and returned at least 3 times because he was just too much work, but finally, that bad luck came to an end!
Bandit first became paralyzed after a heartworm treatment when he was new to the program. He was unable to move his back legs, so the organization had to get him a special wheelchair. With his wheelchair, he can run and play just like any other dog. However, he still has special needs that lots of families are unable to accommodate.
All of Bandit’s previous families loved him very much, but they all felt as if they couldn’t properly care for him. However, Bandit finally met a family that didn’t have a problem with his condition. In fact, they understood his needs better than anyone else ever has.
When Bandit met Darrell and Sue Rider, he became the luckiest dog in the world. The couple had been considering adopting Bandit ever since they first heard about him, but they wanted to make sure they were ready to take on the responsibility first.
Darrell felt a special connection to Bandit because they had something in common. Like Bandit, Darrell is paralyzed from the waist down, and he has been that way since birth. So, he also has to use a wheelchair to move around.
“When you look at Bandit, if he was human, he’s me,” Darrell said. “Going through what I went through in my life and growing up, life wasn’t easy, but you just gotta continue to move forward. The things I read about Bandit, the videos we saw, he kind of had the same mindset that I had.”
Since the couple’s home is already wheelchair accessible for Darrell, they figured that it would be the perfect environment for Bandit. They wanted to make Bandit feel welcome and show him that he’s not alone.
Everyone that got to know Bandit through the Gwinnett Jail Dogs Program is heartbroken that he’ll be leaving them. However, they agree that it’s a bittersweet ending. Bandit deserves this happiness in his life. So, as sad as it is to see him go, it’s amazing that he was able to find such a perfect family.
Darrell and Sue have bonded with Bandit so much that they even decided to make him his own Facebook page! Check it out to see updates on Bandit’s exciting adventures with his forever family.