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Our Story

UP Pups, dba The Unstoppables Project, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2020 to advocate for differently-abled dogs. 


Founder and president Laura Lee Franks was inspired to start The Unstoppables Project after her experience fostering, then adopting, a blind labrador retriever mix puppy named Maverick. When she brought Maverick into her home, he had no idea how to navigate life without sight. But with training and dedication, Maverick’s confidence soon began to soar, and he and Laura Lee both realized that he was unstoppable. 


Read more of Maverick’s story here.


Laura Lee’s time with Maverick was both the most difficult and most rewarding experience she’s ever had with an animal, and The Unstoppables Project honors Maverick by advocating for dogs like him. After all, differently-abled dogs don’t need our pity; they don’t need to be protected or, worse, coddled. They, like all dogs, simply need an owner who is willing to learn about them and help them develop the resilience required to live a full, amazing life, In short, to make them unstoppable.


The Unstoppables Project is not, in itself, a rescue. Rather, it aims to shine a light on differently-abled dogs like Maverick — the rescues and organizations that work with them, and the humans who foster & adopt them — in three primary ways:

  1. Advocacy: Our web and social media platform serves as a hub for all things differently-abled dogs, from sharing adoptable dogs from various rescues to providing resources and guidance rescues, trainers, and potential adopters need to nurture unstoppable dogs. We will also share stories of adopted dogs living their best lives.

  2. Education: We’re dedicated to honest communication that demystifies what it’s like to live with and raise differently-abled dogs, sharing resources, personal stories, rescue group experiences, trainer expertise, and more.

  3. Financial Support: Our fundraising efforts are directed toward other non-profits who, themselves, are supporting differently-abled dogs through advocacy, rescue, training, etc.


Want to get involved? Click here.

Our Story
Statement of Values

Statement of Values


  • We will operate as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, doing nothing for the sole benefit of Board Members or Volunteers.

  • We will strive to meet the highest ethical standards and will follow all applicable laws.


  • We will capitalize on the richness inherent in differences.

  • We will treat each other and our community with courtesy and respect, showing tolerance for ideas and opinions different from our own.

  • We will actively seek and welcome diversity for all organizational roles.


  • We will hold each other accountable to this Statement of Values.

  • We will lead and model integrity beyond reproach.

  • We will keep accurate records.

  • We will be fiscally responsible and have a clear, impartial process for gifting money.

  • We will foster relationships with individuals, non-profits and organizations who center on differently-abled dogs, collaborating whenever possible.

  • We will challenge each other to strive for excellence and to instill our work with imagination, creativity and curiosity.

  • We will be of benefit to our Board, Volunteers and Community by passionately working for tangible, lasting results in support of our mission.

Financia Impact

Financial Impact

2023      $10,000 

                      $1,900       Double J Dog Ranch

                   $1,900     Lily's Pad Rescue

                   $1,900     Scoot to the Stars

                   $1,900     Mac's Mission

                   $2,400     Furgiven Animal Sanctuary

2022     $4,500         

                   $1,000     Safe in Austin Rescue Ranch

                   $1,000     Deaf Dogs Rock

                   $1,000     California Cleft Pups Rescue

                   $1,500     Furgiven Animal Sanctuary

2021      $1,810 

                      $310      Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

                   $500     Willow's Wings Animal Sanctuary

                   $500     Wild Hearts NFP

                   $500     The Hops Project

Board of Directors
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