Globe man Pays it Forward to woman finding homes for therapy dogs

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Michael Stewart had no idea what an impact therapy dogs could have, but he does now.

The 57-year-old from Globe was living alone, battling an assortment of health problems, then he adopted Amy and Sawyer from a local rescue.

"I tell everybody the dogs rescued me because of the joy and happiness they brought to my life," said Stewart.

Stewart's new family members came from White German Shepherd Rescue, which has helped save more than 600 dogs, nursing many back to health and finding them new homes.

White German Shepherd Rescue is run almost entirely by Nancy Swanner, whose love and devotion are always on display.

 "These dogs come from kill shelters," said Swanner. "They have no time left -- they have no one. There's thousands of dogs being put to sleep every day and this is just a small portion, but this is my breed and this is my passion and so I do what I can."

Swanner spends a lot of her own time and money keeping the Shepherd rescue going, so Stewart reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to the woman working around the clock saving dogs' lives.

"She's probably the most deserving person I know," said Stewart.

A CBS 5 news crew was there when Stewart surprised Swanner at a park in north Phoenix.

"A lot of people owe you a debt of gratitude for rescuing the dogs and rehabilitating them, and placing them in homes," Stewart told Swanner.

"We wanted to thank you for all of your hard work and Channel 5 has generously offered you $500 to Pay it Forward."

"I think $500 will help her rescue a lot more dogs," said Stewart.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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