How To Send Us Your News Stories Cleveland.com You are signed in as Edit Public Profile Sign Out The Plain Dealer Sun News Media Insider Rewards >Brunswick couple opens home to rescued Dobermans: Send us your pet rescue stories Updated January 3, 2018 at 3:04 PM; Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:28 PM Joe and Debbie Smole of Brunswick are surrounded by a lot of Doberman Pinscher love. Their rescue dogs are, from left, Cooper, Teddy and Thelma. (Photo Courtesy of Joe and Debbie Smole) By Special to cleveland.com BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- We live in Brunswick and already had two 9-year-old rescued Doberman Pinschers in our home. We had no plans to adopt two more in 2017. But all that changed. We heard that a judge had finally signed an order releasing dogs that had been held in shelters due to a September 2016 puppy mill case in South Carolina. A total of 116 Dobermans had been found with no food, water or medical attention. More than 30 carcasses were also found on the property. We had to open our hearts and home to one of these dogs! We filled out an application with Doberman Underground and after our approval met several of the available 26 females that had taken in from the puppy mill. One of these dogs was a 2-year-old named Thelma. This girl looks much older due to the awful life she had lived to that point. She has many scars, nicks and gray hairs from fighting for food, water and breeding rights. We later found she has a partial uterus from a botched C-section. Her personality is such that everyone she meets instantly falls in love with her, and we were no exception. On March 1, 2017, she was adopted into her forever home...our home! Thelma may be a rescue dog, but her purpose in life is to help rescue others. Because of her, we now volunteer and later became a foster family for the rescue. She attends events to educate people about the breed and by telling her story of life in a puppy mill. Thelma has passed her CGC class and has obtained her therapy dog license and is now providing pet therapy to residents of an assisted living center in Strongsville. In October, she was chosen as one of the participants in the rescue parade at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America's national convention. Then in June 2017, the rescue received a call from a county shelter in Tennessee regarding a 1-year-old male Doberman, Teddy. He had jumped from his owner's convertible that was moving at 50+ mph, suffering a broken leg, cuts and severe road rash. The owner took him to the vet, but refused to pay for any medical treatment, as well as refusing to purchase inexpensive pain pills to help alleviate the dog's pain. It was also found that Teddy had marks on his neck from prong and shock collars. At that time, the vet took action and had the owner surrender the dog. One of Doberman Undergrounds volunteers jumped in the car immediately to get this boy. The vet informed us that Teddy would need to have surgery to repair his broken leg after he was stabilized. We thought the surgery was a success -- the bone was back in place with screws and a plate holding his leg together. At his age, he should have been good as new in about 10 weeks. On Labor Day weekend, he was relocated to the Cleveland area and we became Teddy's foster family. Sadly, X-rays revealed the bone did not heal and the plate had failed. The decision was made to amputate his leg to give him the best chance overcome this injury. Two weeks after the amputation, he was finally medically permitted to perform activities of a normal dog. Today, he acts as though he doesn't even realize a leg is missing! Now we are working on teaching him that no one is ever going to hurt him or be mean to him again. Shortly after Teddy became our foster, our 9-year-old female Doberman passed away from liver failure. We decided to fill the emptiness she left behind and adopt Teddy, making him a permanent member of our family. He was officially adopted on October 29, 2017. Joe & Debbie Smole Brunswick, Ohio Do you share your life with an animal that is near and dear to you? Tell us something about your pet - all species are welcome - and send along a photo of the two of you. Be sure to tell us which Greater Cleveland community you live in. Send everything to Linda Kinsey at >email@example.com.