1994 - 2004
Munchkin went to the Rainbow Bridge on December 8,
2004. Please read the tribute to her written by Katie Matola and Tony
Munchkin's wheelchair was donated to another dog in
need. How unselfish of the Matolas and Munchkin to think of another dog
while dealing with their loss. Please click here to see pictures of the
grateful dog who is now using Munchie's wheelchair.
Munchkin - also known as Munchie - was a charter member of the group who
was also the inspiration for K-9's for Compassion. Hit by a car and left
for dead with a spinal cord injury, Munchkin broke the hearts of caregivers at
Animal Charity in Youngstown, Ohio, who could not euthanize this little Dachshund/Beagle
mix. Instead, they bought her a "wheelchair" - a cart with
wheels that gives her mobility - and cared for her for three years before she
was adopted by Tony Matola's family in Hubbard.
The Animal Charity staff took
Munchkin to visit nursing homes and asked that Tony continue the
practice. His daughter, Katie, arranged for the visits and soon became
hooked on the immensely satisfying experience. Katie loved the idea of
visiting with animals in facilities, but as a Licensed Veterinary Technician,
she could also recognize the dangers in just allowing anyone with a pet to
walk into a facility. It was at this time that Katie started to look
into the National Registries, and she chose Delta Society because of the thoroughness
of the program, and their strict standards. Katie's goal was to also
visit in the hospitals, and she knew that the best chance to visit at the
hospital was to hold the highest standards possible. Shortly after, K-9's for
Compassion was born.
At 10-years-old, Munchkin still didn't know she was
"handicapped." She gets around just as good as any other
dog. When she visited at St. Elizabeth's, she enjoys being petted behind
the ears and lying on the bed with patients. Her eyes seemed to express
the complete enjoyment she experienced from the entire visiting process.
was Pet of the Day in June, 1998.