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 Impact

2021            April          $310     Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

                   October      $500     Willow's Wings Animal Sanctuary

                   October      $500     Wild Hearts NFP

                   October      $500     The Hops Project



Blog Contributers



  • J. Oliver - For helping to birth this project

  • Sarah Welch - For helping us tell our story