Woman turns love of animals into nonprofit helping those with chronic illnesses
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Tri-State woman turned her love for animals into an organization to help children impacted by chronic illnesses.
Carol Bonner started Pets for Patients in 2016.
At the time, she was a volunteer for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the SPCA when she got a call to help find a dog for a terminally ill patient.
It was a perfect match, and from there, she got several more calls, eventually turning the service into a nonprofit company.
Nicholas Winters and his pooch Miracle have quickly become the best of friends.
The hound dog was adopted from a shelter and placed in Winters’ home after his mother noticed he was becoming more withdrawn.
Since he was a child, Winters has struggled with medical issues.
He is currently hearing impaired and has challenges with his balance.
When his mother reached out to his medical team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, they suggested getting Winters a pet and connected the family with Bonner.
That’s when she found Miracle.
“When we took the dog over to him, he immediately fell in love in with this little dog,” says Bonner.
Seeing the bonding between pets and patients is a jot that Bonner gets to experience time and time again.
Her love for animals started when she was a child.
“When I was 15, I used to show dogs,” Bonner explains. “I went to Westminster; always been a huge animal lover, especially dogs and I just always stayed involved in pet rescue and sheltering.”
Eventually, she turned that love into a rewarding career.
Bonner says it’s magical watching a pet needing a home connecting with a person needing a forever friend.
She says one little pup, Toby, was thrown from a car window and left to die.
When she found him in the shelter, she found the perfect person ready to shower him with love.
“He had been a little shelter dog for a while, so he hadn’t been in the home,” says Bonner. “[He] Went into the house, immediately jumped up on the bed of the patient, and he pretty much stayed there.”
As the need for the service has grown, so has her team.
Shortly after starting Pets for Patients, Bonner teamed up with Alicia Noschang who trains the pets from the shelter before sending them to their forever home.
A career she says had helped her live a life with a purpose.
”It’s unbelievable; I get to give someone a family member and you can’t put a price tag on that,” says Noschang. “It’s the greatest feeling ever to be able to watch Nick with Miracle to be able to get out and walk around, and he has something added to his purpose. It’s worth all the money in the world.”
A world that Winters says has forever changed for him thanks to the best gift he could have ever received.
“Miracle is something that will help me with depression and everyday life,” says Winters. “Miracle has been extraordinary to my life.”
This story is part of a weekly segment called Breaking Through.
FOX19 NOW will be highlighting those who are stepping forward to pave the way for a better future.
f you know a woman making a difference in the community, whether it’s a business, teaching, or volunteering, we want to hear from you.
Call 513-421-1919 or send an email to email@example.com with “Breaking Through” in the subject line.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.
Copyright 2023 WXIX. All rights reserved.