Defying Disabilities: Woman Dedicates Time to Animal Shelters, Adopts Abused Dog

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When Tonishia Minard-Martison went looking for a little dog after hearing that the pup may have been abused, she already knew she was in for a lot of work.

“Spine in two places is cracked and there are two fractured ribs and two fractured disks,” said Martison’s friend and animal advocate Mark Chacon.

The pup’s name is Brave-Courage. He is one of several animals Martison has rescued, but beyond the generosity is a unique young lady.

The 20-year-old was born with a host of disabilities, including being 100% hearing impaired.

On paper, she tells me she grew up in foster care and was later adopted. Her family, however, was not supportive of her love for animals, so Martison went to live in a group home.

She has been on her own since the age of 17 and spends her time volunteering at local animal shelters.

“We need more people like that who are very caring and compassionate,” said Chacon.

Chacon offers to help Martison with taking Brave-Courage to the vet, but Martison is independent.

When asked what she would like to have she says nothing, her only hope is to give Brave-Courage a new wheelchair and maybe a vehicle to take her animals to the vet.

Tonishia can be reached at

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