NORTH HALEDON, NJ (WCBS 880) – One man who ended his career in Bergen County has ended up starting another one with his wife in Passaic County.

Lilly and Zoey are pit bulls – sweet, loving, adorable pit bulls.

They’re among the many dogs lucky to be alive, thanks to Special Needs K9, a rescue group founded nearly two years ago by retired Paramus police officer Mike Pravec and his wife Stacey Arbeit-Pravec.

“We look for the dogs that other people walk past when they go to the shelters, the abused dogs, the neglected dogs, the dogs that have medical issues, maybe dogs that have behavioral issues,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “We go into the shelters and we look for the underdogs and try to give them a second chance at life.”

“By underdogs, what we mean also is not just handicapped or three-legged dogs, one-eyed dogs, blind dogs, deaf dogs. We also consider being special needs a dog that’s supposed to be euthanized for no apparent reason but because he was thrown away,” he said. “We look for the least likely to be adopted, rather than the most likely to get adopted. We’re not looking for a quick turnover. We’re looking to give dogs that are passed over and just passed by and simply have zero chance. We’re looking to give them a chance.”

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams In Passaic County

What started as a part-time endeavor is now a full-time mission – a nonprofit rescue run out of their North Haledon home and funded by the kindness of donors.

“We provide medical care for them. We get them healthy, all the shots, spay or neuter, which is very important. We get them socialized with other dogs and people and train them and bring them back to health,” said Mike.

“A lot of times we see a lot of dogs that are abused or, if you go into a lot of inner city shelters, there’s a lot of dogs that are used for fighting dogs and bait dogs,” said Stacey.

They find new homes for these special canines and educate people along the way.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

RELATED: More Stories From Main Street

“I’ve never encountered a pit bull up close. I’ve never pet it. Zoey was lying on my foot. I take that as a good sign?” asked Adams.

“Yeah, that’s a good. Yeah. She’s saying here, ‘Sean, you’re mine.’ But yes, she’s a very loving dog,” Mike answered.

“I see pit bull and I’m cautious. She came right up to me. She said, ‘hello.’ Now she’s lying on my foot. You just want to give her a hug,” said Adams.

“Sean, exactly. That’s the thing that people need to really go to these shelters and keep their mind open,” said Mike.

“Love from Lilly to everybody out there and please consider adopting,” said Stacey.

You can contact Special Needs K9 online by visiting their website HERE.