Everyone wants that perfect pet.
Many are willing to go to an animal shelter to find one.
Second-hand pets make wonderful additions to someone’s home.
Shelter animals deserve love, care and a bright future.
Physically challenged pets are incredible and can give their owners more love and happiness than can be imagined.
Being a hero to animals in need is uplifting.
Words of caution: Be sure to research what will be involved to accommodate the pet’s disability before adopting one with special needs.
Learn how to best prepare for this difficult but rewarding choice.
Helping that pet overcome their disability is truly special.
However, without proper research and a plan, that special needs pet may end up back at the shelter.
And no one wants that to happen.
Shelters can give you good advice on the proper care and feeding of a pet with special needs.
Shelters know the animals that are up for adoption and can give you inside information.
Veterinarians are another great source.
Find a vet that you trust to have these discussions.
This is critical.
And, of course, the Internet is full of information and pictures of special needs pets who have successfully been incorporated into the homes and hearts of individuals who took a chance on them.
Special needs pets may require special arrangements in the home to ensure their safety.
Blind pets may need to be blocked off in a special room when the owner is away from the house.
Disabled pets may require additional resources and adjustments in your lifestyle to properly care for them.
Special needs pets may have higher medical costs due to special testing or medications.
Keep in mind that a daily routine is beneficial and critical for those pets with disabilities.
Support groups are also available to join.
These groups can help with emotional support and financial assistance.
Patience is essential in dealing with special needs pets.
It may take a little time for the pet to adjust but most are very adaptable.
It will require time, patience, guidance, and love.
Many of these disabled animals don’t let anything stand in their way.
A 13-year-old Abyssinian cat, who is deaf and has several other health problems, was taught sign language to help him compensate.
A Corgi, who has paralysis, gets around on wheels.
Paralysis doesn’t stop her.
Skipper, who was spotlighted in my March Kids’ Corner, is a Golden Retriever who was born with a birth defect and wears a prosthetic leg.
Skipper is a therapy dog who works with children struggling with reading and also visits nursing homes.
What if you go to a shelter and bond with a ball of fur that may not be physically perfect?
That ball of fur may just be perfect for you.
Bonus: This month’s children’s picture book review, Deafinitely Awesome: The Story of Acorn, was about a dog with a disability.
A sequel to that book is Acorn’s Deafinitely Awesome Dictionary of Signs.
This book has tried and true information on how to teach a dog sign language.
I know you will enjoy it.
Title: Acorn’s Deafinitely Awesome Dictionary of Signs
Author: Mary L. Motley and Carol Peter, CPDT-KA
Illustrator: Jenny Campbell
Publisher: DEAFinitely Awesome
Available at amazon.com
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