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Zach Skow, the founder of Marley's Mutts, was diagnosed with end stage liver disease in July of 2008 due to his excessive drinking. In fact, Zach had battled alcoholism since his teens. As he tried to get healthy enough to receive a liver transplant, the doctors advised him to exercise and quit drinking. Sick and weak, Zach started walking with his father's rescue dogs, including a Rottweiler–pit bull mix named Marley. The dogs in Zach's life loved him unconditionally and helped him survive his illness. Today Zach is healthy and sober and repaying the debt, rescuing the hardest to adopt dogs and finding them loving forever homes.
Zach can relate to the dogs, he says that without alcohol, he was vulnerable and scared—much like the dogs he now rescues from shelters. When Zach walks into a shelter, he sees himself in the destitute dogs, and they in him. He knows intimately what it is like to feel worthless and unwanted. He felt like a “throwaway human”, and to most people, the dogs in the most hard-knock shelters are throwaway dogs.
Also on the show, Jolene and Shawn Heath from Heath's Haven Dog Rescue. Heath’s Haven Rescue & Sanctuary is a special needs rescue for dogs with neurological issues, spinal injuries, paralysis, and mobility issues.