Making an addition to your family soon? Have you thought about adopting a specially-abled pet? They’re looking for a forever home just as much as the pets who aren’t disabled. Some of the most kind, loving, and entertaining pets are disabled, but sadly, people tend to overlook them because of their disabilities. That’s why on this day, National Specially-Abled Pets Day, we are here to educate you about the care that disabled pets would need and tell you about some people who love having disabled dogs as their furry friends.
Ed and Leslie Grinnell, owners of Eddies Wheels, absolutely adore disabled dogs, so much in fact that they have spent the last 27 years caring for them. Eddies Wheels is dedicated to helping your dog whose legs are not in good use anymore, giving them the freedom to roam and run around with other dogs with one simple invention…a wheelchair. Eddie came up with this canine wheelchair because of a Doberman, Buddha, they had back in 1989. Buddha was 10 years old when she lost the use of her back legs due to spondylosis and disc disease. They had to make a tough choice of risky surgery or euthanizing her. Well, with not being able to afford the surgery and not wanting to put her down, they decided to let her heal.
While Eddie was letting Buddha heal, he, in a way, became her servant by carrying her around everywhere. That’s when Eddie decided to build her a wheelchair that would help her get back to her life she had before. Once he had built the wheelchair, Buddha was able to walk on her own again. What’s even better is after a couple of months with using the wheelchair cart, her paralyzed legs started moving again! Shortly after, she was able to walk on her own again without any help! That’s how Eddies Wheels came about, and why it has become extremely successful in helping dogs with paralyzed legs be able to move again.
Eddie’s Wheels isn’t the only company making a difference for disabled pets. Ortho Pets is dedicated to helping pets walk again by providing products such as animal braces, prosthetics, and dog knee braces. Handicapped Pets is another company that provides products to help pets walk again with wheel chairs. Handicapped Pets was founded in 2001 and they carry products like harnesses, wheelchairs, and other items to help elderly dogs and handicapped pets.
Pets that are paralyzed are not the only disabled pets though. There are a number of dogs and cats out there that have lost their mobility due to blindness or from going deaf. Trevor, an avid dog lover, adopted a deaf and blind dog out of the blue back in 2008. This poor Great Dane, Keller, was brought up by an irresponsible breeder that knew blindness and deaf ran in his breeding stock’s family tree, but didn’t care. Keller was about to be euthanized when a vet tech took him home and contacted a rescue, who then contacted Trevor not long after that.
Trevor had no prior experience with specially-abled pets, but he took a leap, and took Keller in because he knew the pup needed a home. Fortunately, Trevor gave him all he needed – love. They have both become adapted to each other and Trevor has learned how to care for a special-needs animal. If Keller is out in the yard, all Trevor has to do is flash a light towards him, or simply clap his hands and Keller will follow the vibrations. If Trevor wants Keller to follow him, all he does is touch his chin and he stays right behind him. Even though Trevor had never cared for a special-needs animal before, he caught on rather quickly and has a new, loving, friend for the rest of Keller’s life!
If you’re looking for a pet to bring into your home, don’t rule out disabled pets. There are a lot of rescues that shelter disabled animals. The Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Montana is one of those places that rescue and shelter animals with disabilities. The Rolling Dog Ranch might have the word “dog” in the title, but dogs aren’t the only one this animal sanctuary takes in because cats and horses are also very welcome. Whether the pet is blind, deaf, paralyzed, or has other medical issues, this ranch is here to rescue and shelter them all until they can find a loving home.
Although these animals are disabled, they don’t see themselves that way. They just want to find a forever, loving family who will take them in and treat them no different than any other pet. So, if you’re looking for a furry friend, or you’re thinking about getting one, please think about adopting a pet with a disability. Not only will you be helping to save a life, they’ll bring joy to yours. We promise.