How to Help Special Needs Animals

July 10, 2013

While it is difficult to think of animals in shelters, either abandoned or never really wanted, it is even more heartbreaking to find special needs animals there. They may have a disability from birth, an accident, or abuse. Many of these critters can deal with their disability and become great additions to a family that has the heart to take them in.

As a foster guardian; you may have to prepare your home for a special needs dog or cat. Perhaps, the animal is partially or totally blind. You should make your home, or that foster’s living space safe for him or her. Remove sharp objects; make sure there are no electrical cords or anything else to get tangled up in. Dogs without vision are often more defensive and need you to move slowly around them. Maybe the animal only has one eye, which, while he can see, the peripheral vision is off and you must catch his attention on his good side.

Some pets are born deaf. This especially found in pure white cats and dogs, purebred and mixed. Some, who buy these pets as youngsters may misinterpret the problem and just think that a pet doesn’t pay attention This, unfortunately can lead to abuse and/or abandonment.

As a foster, you can help teach a deaf or hard-of-hearing dog a sign language that can also be taught to new adopters. Using signs that are also used in obedience training, work as a great universal language. Care must be given, especially when out on walks with deaf dogs, as they do not hear traffic sounds. Deaf cats should have indoor-only foster and permanent homes.

There are other great special needs animals in shelters that have the potential for great pets. Those who are missing a limb, or part of one, can easily adapt to that problem and will still outrun its human counterparts.

As fosters, there is so much that you can do to enhance potential pets that should not have to live out their last days as animals in shelters. They is hope for them, even those with special needs, to live a long and happy life in a new home that will appreciate them as part of the family. It just takes a little time and some caring help.

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