Our Vision


The Story of Project 2 Heal

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Charlie Petrizzo was working a successful corporate job when he felt the need to do something more. Despite his success, Charlie felt discontented with life in the financial world. His experiences had given him a perspective on money and materialism that didn’t fit his life’s calling.

When Charlie was a boy he almost died – twice. With the help the family Labrador Retriever Charlie was able to heal. He’s intimately aware of the healing power of these amazing animals and he wanted to give back.

He left the financial world. He made a decision to follow the purpose that was born into him as a boy: He would breed dogs. And not just any dogs, labs with a bloodline carefully selected for the traits required for the best service dogs. He would provide early training to the best pups in every litter so they could become valued service dogs and companions. Then he would donate them to service organizations that would train – and ultimately place – with children he understood: those who were wounded or disabled.

This mission, along with a desire to be true to their Catholic faith, led Charlie and his wife Sandy to start Circle of Life Labradors, today known as Project 2 Heal, a non-profit 501(c)3. The organization is a way to honor the memory of Charlie’s mother Carolyn by emulating the love she exhibited in serving Charlie and so many others throughout her life.

Project 2 Heal started out as an organization that bred Labrador Retrievers of the best health, temperament and intelligence so that it could donate them to service dog organizations that would train them for children with special needs. The original dogs for the organization were obtained from one of the top Labrador Retriever breeders in the country, Sally Bell, the owner of the Labradors of Borador.

As news about Project 2 Heal spread, Charlie and Sandy received an increasing amount of inquiries about their dogs. They began doing even more for the community. They started training the dogs for local children. They allowed families with special needs children to bring their dogs over for therapy sessions. And they visited special needs schools and assisted living homes.charlies-story p2hs-story1

They’ve never charged a dime.

Approximately half of each litter is donated to a service organization. The other half are sold as a way to raise money to support operations. If your looking for dogs for sale in Charlotte NC, please contact us today. You can help create a win-win situation.

Project 2 Heal has become one of the most respected Labrador Retriever Breeders in North Carolina and their just getting started.

Charlieʼs vision includes a facility on more than 50 acres that will draw people from around the country. The facility will be much more than a venue where service dogs and skilled companion dogs will be bred and trained. It will be a focal point for visitors of the Carolina Piedmont region. It will be a place where the community can work together with manʼs best friend to make the world a better place. It will be a place where children with special needs can come for therapy and where neuro – typical children will come to understand the challenges faced by special needs children, using the dog as a “social lubricant” in order to create a bridge of acceptance.

Learn more about how you can help support the mission of Charlie and Project 2 Heal.


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PicsofAngelandsydniIn December of 2013, Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN) graduated a dog named Angel donated to their program by Project2Heal.  The donation of Angel and her training is the result of a story that unfolded during the filming of documentary entitled Charlie’s Scars. The film was supposed to focus on the life of Project 2 Heal founder Charlie Petrizzo and how two tragic accidents were the genesis of the work undertaken by Project 2 Heal. The story’s intended focus took a turn while filming at The Indiana Women’s Prison where Petrizzo learned that offender Melinda Loveless, one of the 4 young women charged in the 1992 murder of Shanda Sharer, a 12 year old girl who was beaten and burned to death was training dogs in the ICAN program to which he donated them.
Uncertain that he wanted to continue donating Project2Heal pups to programs where they were trained by convicted murderers, Petrizzo asked if he could interview Loveless. Petrizzo did not know this but Loveless had not spoken to the media since being convicted of the murder twenty years earlier. He landed the first interview ever with her. His intention, among other things, was to let Loveless know the pain of being burned. However, emotions took the interview in a direction Petrizzo never intended.
After viewing what was caught on film, Petrizzo knew he had to try to locate Jacque Vaught, the mother of Shanda Sharer.  Ironically,only a few weeks earlier Petrizzo had seen Vaught on a Dr. Phil episode talking about the murder. He heard the grief and saw the pain on her face when she talked about her daughters death and remembered distinctly her comment that none of the women involved in the murder had ever shown any remorse for what they did.
 The drama that develops from this sequence of events lies at the heart of the award winning film Charlie’s Scars;  a story of hope, justice and mercy.


Part Of What We Do At Project 2 Heal