Cassidy, the Three-Legged Hero

An unfortunate accident changes one dog's life - and the lives of others - for the better.

Cassidy, a 5-year-old Shetland Sheepdog-Australian Shepherd mix was found by the side of the road, buried under piles of litter. The homeless dog had been hit by a car and was badly injured. But in Cassidy’s case, the accident changed his life – and the lives of others – for the better.


Cassidy. Courtesy Kathy Cain



Cassidy’s shattered front right leg was so badly hurt it required amputation, but the pup soon began his road to recovery. He just needed love, attention, and a warm home. Sheltie Rescue of Utah, based in the city of Sandy, came to Cassidy’s aid and found a foster home for Cassidy with one of their volunteers, Kathy Cain.

Cassidy wasn’t at Cain’s home for very long before Cain knew this sweet, yet scared and shy dog would never leave.

Four years later, Cassidy has blossomed into a loving, confident, snuggly dog who’s helping others all around his community accept physical differences, embrace challenges and feel inspired to overcome whatever life throws at them.

Cassidy and Cain do presentations for children about disabilities, acceptance, and how everyone is different, special and has something positive to give to the world. Due to this work as an advocate for special-needs rescues, Cassidy received the Emerging Hero award at the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.


Cassidy.Courtesy Kathy Cain 


“He’s proven you can make something of yourself, even if some people regard you as being disabled or handicapped,” Cain says.

“Just because Cassidy is a bit different from other dogs, it doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to life like others can,” Cain says in her talks with schoolchildren.

Cain also takes this affectionate, calm dog to rehabilitation facilities and care centers in her area, letting Cassidy spread love and inspiration. Once, he spent time with a woman who just had her own leg amputated. Cassidy jumped right up on her bed and curled up where the woman’s leg used to be. Everyone was stunned, Cain says.

“That was the beginning when we knew it was the right decision to have him visit these people,” Cain says. “He’s very intuitive.”

This 20-pound dog who loves to hug people has brought so much to Cain’s life, she’s felt compelled to share his energy with others.

Cain began steps to get Cassidy certified as a therapy dog.  “He just touches lives wherever he goes, all the time,” she says.

Cain hopes Cassidy’s story inspired others to not judge a book by its cover, so to speak, but to see the beauty between the pages.

“Don’t let (physical issues) stop you from adopting a dog with disabilities,” she says. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. Every life is worth saving. Don’t write them off.”, a website dedicated to providing nutritious food to shelter animals, is so inspired by this story that they will donate 10,000 meals of Halo Spot’s Stew to Sheltie Rescue of Utah.

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