'I never turn anybody down': Former Sarasota deputy provides carts for paralyzed dogs

Retired Sarasota, County deputy, John Cox's 100th animal from all around the world that he has helped. Delhi is a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix, whose hind legs are paralyzed, can now roam freely with the new wheels. She is still looking for a new home and is at Satchel's Last Resort Rescue and Sanctuary in Sarasota.
Retired Sarasota, County deputy, John Cox's 100th animal from all around the world that he has helped. Delhi is a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix, whose hind legs are paralyzed, can now roam freely with the new wheels. She is still looking for a new home and is at Satchel's Last Resort Rescue and Sanctuary in Sarasota.

SARASOTA - John Cox didn't expect his retirement to go to the dogs.

One-hundred-five, to be exact, along with four goats, four cats, a duck and a goose.

Last year in May, the 57-year-old retired deputy for the Sarasota County Sherriff's Office, his goal to buy carts for dogs that had been injured or paralyzed, started the not-for-profit RUCK9 (Rescuing Uniquely Created K9s). Cox first learned the need for these carts while visiting Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi, Calif. There he saw dogs born without limbs, ones that had them amputated, or old dogs which had lost their back end.

Cox held a fundraiser that May during which he walked with a 30-pound rucksack strapped to his back around Nathan Benderson Park and The Mall at University Town Center – a distance of 5.59 miles – ending after the then-56-year-old had completed 56 miles.

Previously: A Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy is on a mission — buy carts for injured dogs

Rescued beagles: HSSC welcomes 18 beagles from controversial Virginia breeding and research facility

Retired Sarasota, County deputy, John Cox begin the Ruck9 charity just over a year ago by helping to donate wheelchairs to disabled pets in need. Here with Delhi, a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix, whose hind legs are paralyzed can now roam freely with the new wheels.
Retired Sarasota, County deputy, John Cox begin the Ruck9 charity just over a year ago by helping to donate wheelchairs to disabled pets in need. Here with Delhi, a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix, whose hind legs are paralyzed can now roam freely with the new wheels.

The first dog Cox outfitted with a cart was Sandler, a paralyzed 12 1/2-year-old dog he saw at Sarasota's Satchel's Last Resort Rescue and Sanctuary.

Sandler, and a whole bunch more. After a story on Cox's mission ran in the Herald-Tribune last year, he began getting swamped with requests for carts. One man called from Europe. A husband and wife from Palmetto, both retired teachers, were so moved by what Cox was doing, they sent him a check for $1,000.

"This thing is going crazy," said Cox, who doesn't make the carts, but secures them from a company. He pays for shipping and any upgrades to the carts, and any money raised or donated is put back into the nonprofit.

Delhi, a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix, whose hind legs are paralyzed can now roam freely with the new wheels. She is still looking for a new home and is at Satchel's Last Resort Rescue and Sanctuary. in Sarasota.
Delhi, a 4-year-old Chihuahua mix, whose hind legs are paralyzed can now roam freely with the new wheels. She is still looking for a new home and is at Satchel's Last Resort Rescue and Sanctuary. in Sarasota.

"At year one, I was at 65 (dogs)," Cox said. "Not even four months later, I'm at (105). There are some days I'm ordering eight and nine. People are reaching out left and right."

On Tuesday, Cox will send a cart to India for a dog named Diva.

"I never turn anybody down," Cox said. "I care about the dogs. For all the animals, if it's needed, I will provide it. My motto is, If it's for a day, a week, a month, or a year. My wife says I need an assistant. I am on the phone constantly, making calls, ordering, tracking. It's insane. I am very busy. I had no clue how much of a need it was going to be."

Poster for Saturday's benefit for RUCK 9.
Poster for Saturday's benefit for RUCK 9.

Anybody wanting to help Cox in his cause, visit ruck9.com.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota former deputy John Cox buys carts for paralyzed animals