South Jersey’s Top Dog

Photo: Michele Schaffer-Stevens

Haddonfield pitbull Aladdin has a schedule that’s more jam-packed than some humans. But the busy pooch’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last month, the American Humane Association named him “Top Therapy Dog of the Year” for his extensive therapy work.

If you’re wondering how busy this guy is: If Aladdin isn’t working as a Ronald McDonald House Ambassador, he’s off visiting schools for anti-bullying programs or working as a spokespup for the Voorhees-based animal rescue Lilo’s Promise. He’s also a trained crisis-response dig.

He’s been at the table with politicians when bills protecting animal rights have been signed, and he’s worked with the Philadelphia police to fundraise for the Fallen Officers Fund. Plus, he’s internet famous: His Facebook page “Aladdin Nation” has nearly 18,000 likes.

But Aladdin has his own story, and it’s one that didn’t start out happy. Before dog-mom Michele Schaffer-Stevens rescued Aladdin four years ago, he was found severely emaciated with two broken back legs, a broken tail, wounds and 12 missing teeth. Despite those difficulties, he became a certified therapy dog within a year and has been bringing smiles – and lots of dog kisses – to those who need it most ever since.

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