Friday, April 03, 2009

Marvelous Marvin Teams Up With

On November 1st, 2002 Dr. Finocchio adopted Marvin, who is a disabled dog from the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter. His first family relinquished him because they no longer had time for him in their lives. His second owner was uncomfortable with his disability and chose to return him to the shelter. Five years have passed since Marvin became Dr. Finocchio's best non-human friend. Keeping up with him is no easy task. In the past five years, he has written a children’s book titled Marvelous Marvin, visited hundreds of different nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers, schools, libraries, and summer camp programs in three different states. He is involved in the RISPCA statewide education program and has become a watercolor artist. Marvin has raised over $100,000 from the proceeds of his book and paintings, becoming the largest contributor to the RISPCA. All proceeds raised by Marvin go into the MARVIN FUND, a fund he founded to benefit all creatures great and small in need of food, shelter, and medical attention. The fund also assists the elderly, disabled, and less fortunate with the medical needs of their pets when no one else will. Through the MARVIN FUND, over 1000 pets have been assisted. Marvin and and Dr. Finocchio became Pet Partners in 2003, and it was truly amazing to see how much the elderly people in nursing homes enjoyed his company. Seeing the smiles on their faces is something he will never forget. When they visits the underprivileged children in the inner city, they leave hoping that their message of hope may just change the life of one child. They visit sick children and allow them to forget their illnesses even for a brief time, and when they hear Marvin's story, they know there is always hope. Marvin has brought Dr. Finocchio to places he just heard of but never experienced. Because of him he now looks at life much differently than he once did. In looking at the whole picture, Marvin has taught him to be grateful for everything he has in life and not to complain about the little inconveniences of life. He has taught him that regardless of how dark it may get in someone’s life, it doesn’t take much to show them a few rays of light. Imagine learning this from a dog? Dr. Finocchio's life and that of his entire family have been enhanced by a dog that was rejected twice in his life. He is truly a living example that despite the adversities that come your way in life, you can overcome them. He has shown all of us at the shelter that it takes so very little to make a positive difference in a life, human or animal. Helping Handicapped Pets is something close to him because for three years he could not bear weight on his right hind limb. Chasing a tennis ball is one of the things Marvin loves to do, and it is difficult to do it on three legs. Mobility is very important to dogs from what Marvin tells me, so it was his wish to help those with mobility problems get a second chance. His partnership with Handicapped Pets was meant to be, and we only regret we cannot do more. [Dr. Finocchio and Marvin have contributed to Kathy Barton's yearly campaign to help handicapped pets after seeing a cat, Xavier, at the RISPCA receive a wheelchair through Kathy's class.] Our pets are always there for us, and in times of need we have to be there for them. In saying that, Dr. Finocchio's personal philosophy and that of Marvin's, is that they both believe in life, but they believe more in the quality of life, and they both believe that holding onto a pet and not letting go at the right time is not fair to the pet. Marvin is the official Mascot of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Marvin wins an award! Beyond Limits Awards 2008 Finalists from the Pet Partners Rescue Category must have a minimum of 2 years experience as a Pet Partners team and their animal partner must have been adopted from a shelter or rescue organization. E.J. Finocchio and Marvin (Rhode Island) - WINNER “The story you tell about Marvin’s life and how his attitude never changed even through adversity, is a great fit for our kids and their problems.” Marvin has proven to be a great role model for several people of all ages whose lives he has touched. Together this dynamic duo continues everyday to improve and inspire all those around them!

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