Mark Shambour is no stranger around dogs. He grew up with them and has his own dog training company, K9 Korral Dog Training and Supply Center, in Sarasota, Florida. He used to volunteer in shelters, but then business picked up so much that finding the time became difficult. So now he helps rescue and shelter dogs in other ways – many other ways!
Mark began taking rescue dogs into the K9 Korral. First one, then two . . . then two more! They live at K9 Korral and fraternize with the other dogs and customers. These were dogs Mark knew would have a very hard time getting adopted.
“We treat them like our own,” Mark says. “They have jobs to do, like greeting customers! We call them our ‘house dogs.’”
Pet owners take their dogs to the K9 Korral for training, in either private or group settings. There is also a doggie day care center, boarding, and a holistic pet supply store on site.
Mark also started sponsoring a two-minute weekly radio show segment about rescues on 92.1 CTQ. The segment features a different rescue dog or dogs each week. It’s Mark’s way of educating the public about what dogs are waiting for adoptive homes while highlighting different local rescues. That’s where Mark met Spencer.
Spencer, an adorable Chihuahua mix, was brought onto the show the day Mark featured Satchel’s Last Resort rescue and sanctuary. Satchel’s focuses on rescuing the harder-to-adopt dogs and cats, providing them with life-long sanctuary if permanent homes are not found. They had chosen Spencer to feature on the radio show. There must have been some magic in the air that day, because Mark fell in love with Spencer and agreed to foster him shortly after.
The Walkin’ Pets Care Squad provided Spencer with a camo Walkin’ Wheels rear dog wheelchair. The feisty little guy had been shot with a pellet gun causing rear-leg paralysis before landing at Satchel’s. Mark takes him to aqua therapy and cold laser therapy to strengthen his legs. He also needs to express Spencer’s urine five times a day, but Mark takes it all in stride.
“Since the first day of fostering, Spencer has completely attached himself to me. He has become part of my pack and has slept with us from day one. What a joy!”
The “pack” includes three other dogs besides Spencer (not including the four “house dogs” at the K9 Korral). Mark will officially adopt Spencer as soon as he is neutered and has finished with his heartworm treatment. Spencer is the first dog Mark has had in a wheelchair.
“It fell upon me, and it’s working out quite well! He is able to play in our daycare and gets along well with all the other dogs. He is just a lover boy and definitely doesn’t let his handicap slow him down.”
Senior Rescue Dog Advocate
Mark and Spencer have shared the spotlight on an ABC 7 News Suncoast View television segment. Mark advocated for specially-abled dogs on the “Getting Your Dog Mobile” spot. Watch them on the segment in the video below:
Mark also has a special calling to rescue senior dogs, as he has done many times.
“There are so many dogs overlooked because of age!” Mark says. “I’ve always had a senior dog. I like giving them the extra help.”
Final words of wisdom from Mark are ones that we can all stand to be reminded of:
“Love your dogs now – they’re only with us for a short time!”