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November 19, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 4 Faves: 0

Why Save a Special Needs Animal?

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

Recently, I have written blogs on pets that were rescued (Rosie, The Resilient Spirit of One Little Dog, The Story of Dunkin - Is There Ever A Happy Ending?) from horrific conditions that were either born with a medical condition, disability, or have been so severely neglected that they developed health issues. Each individual that has saved a special needs animal  has gone above and beyond being their caretaker.

During my research, I also came across many negative comments from people questioning why these caretakers are even bothering. Some of these comments are vicious attacks that are cruel, degrading, and even border on bullying.

Why is it that we feel the need to discard a pet that is otherwise not "normal?"

When taking on a special needs animal, many people will pose the question, "Why not just end their suffering? There are so many healthy pets that need homes" Yes, there are many healthy pets looking for their forever home, but that shouldn't mean that a pet with a disability or medical condition should be a throw away.

When it comes to animals, there are some individuals that prefer to discard the "broken" ones. But if we nonchalantly free ourselves of these so-called burdens, how do we continue to educate and show compassion toward other living things?

The caretakers of these wonderful animals aren't looking at them as a burden, and they don't feel they are wasting their time. No. Instead, they express how humbled and honored they are to care for these animals that otherwise would have been deemed unadoptable.

Who are "we" to determine what type of quality of life is worthy of saving?

These caretakers are doing what they are called to do: taking care of a special needs animal. I don't feel it should be up to us as a society to pick apart which animal is worth saving or not. If an individual is up to the task and has the means to take care of an animal in need, let them do so.

I personally applaud these caretakers, as I know I couldn't do what they are doing. Not because I wouldn't want to, but my schedule won't allow the time needed to focus on an animal with special needs.

If someone takes on a Special Needs Animal, why are they asking for money?

These caretakers give up their time, personal finances, and so much more to meet the needs of these animals. They often have fund raisers and donation campaigns to help alleviate the cost of their care that they may otherwise not be able to afford. Donation is an act of kindness executed by giving something to someone else in need. Yes, special need animals are in need of care. We each get to decide on how to use our money, and if someone chooses to donate their money to one of these animals in need, let them.

Let's not be quick to slash and tear apart another person's decision to take care of an animal that has a disability or medical condition. Instead, let's sing their praises and thank them for opening their hearts and homes to these Special Need Animals.

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  • Regarding the special needs article. I adopted 2 dogs from rescue who had each been abused. Sam was first and he had been emotionally damaged. His biggest fear was of me leaving him. Well after having him a few months I decided he needed some company and went searching for a dog that needed a home. Well I found Lana and repeatedly emailed regarding her with no response. Finally after several months I received an email stating that Lana was in a permanent foster home because of an amputation but that because I continually asked of her if I still wanted to adopt her that I could set an appointment to see her and it would be up to the foster whether I could adopt her. Well Lana had to have her foot amputated because she had been kicked and no one took care of it. At 1 yr old she was in a permanent foster home. That is sad. Well I made the appointment to drive 20-30 miles away and meet her. I did want her to come home with me and the foster agreed to let me take her. Lana also had been kicked in the head and has scar tissue on her brain causing seizures. She also has allergies and skin issues. I am sure that if the rescue group had known all of this they would not have let me take her but she is now over 10 years old and she is spoiled. The dogs and I moved recently and she now seems to have a fear of me leaving her which I could not do. Do I care that she is handicapped and has special needs? No. Most people who really love animals do not really care if an animal is "perfect".

  • Sue, you said that beautifully at the end of your comment. Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to these fur kids, they are blessed to have you.

  • Yes Sue, this world needs more people like you,....My girfriend and I have a family of dogs that we saved and adopted,....we love them all...even though we have no more couch and other furniture,.... welove them and they love us back.....How can some humans beso cruel,,,,its a sad world....but coming home from work and being greeted is won.derful..all they want is Love.

  • John, some humans are so "inhumane" it is sickening, and we do need more "Sues" and "Johns" in this world. Thank you for sharing your comment.

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